Telecom operator Vodafone has said that it will invest Rs 6,000 crore in Maharashtra for capacity augmentation and new business initiatives in the state. Vodafone will also use the investment for setting up a data center in Airoli as well as a payments bank headquartered in Mumbai. The investment was announced at the Make in India summit held at Mumbai.
Other companies to commit investments at the event include Mahindra & Mahindra (Rs 8,000 crore), Mercedes (Rs 1,200 crore), Ascendas (Rs 4,571 crore), Raymond (Rs 1,400 crore) and Sterlite (Rs 60,000 crore).
Note that in November last year, Vodafone said it would invest Rs 13,000 crore for capacity augmentation and new business initiatives. This would be broken down as Rs 8,000 crore for the Digital India initiative to enhance, upgrade and expand network coverage and Rs 4,000 crore towards the Make in India initiative. The current investment is a part of this one.
4G rollout: Earlier this month Vodafone completed the first phase of its planned 4G rollout under the 1800 MHz band with the launch of its services in Mumbai. The company also launched its 4G network under the 1800 MHz band in Delhi NCR, Bangalore and Kolkata the same month; as well as in Kerala circle Kochi in Dec 2015 & Kozhikode in Jan 2016.
Vodafone recently also launched its own 3G network in Bangalore, Rajasthan, and Northeast Circle (Assam), under the 2100 Mhz band. The company said then that it would continue to offer its 3G services in all of its 16 circles.
Number of connections: Vodafone India reported 25.9 million 3G Internet connections for the quarter ended December 31, 2015.In comparison, the telecom operator had 16.6 million connections (increase of 56.02%) in the same period last year, and 23.8 million subscribers in the preceding quarter. The company, however, did not reveal the total number of data connections this quarter.
Nod for merging assets: In December, the Department of Telecom gave a green signal to Vodafone to merge four of its Indian entities (Vodafone East, Vodafone South, Vodafone Cellular and Vodafone Digilink) into Vodafone Mobile Services (VMS). Vodafone was also looking to merge Vodafone West and Vodafone Spacetel with Vodafone Services, for which it would need to submit Rs 1,950 crore.