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Vodafone Idea finishes integration, rebrands as Vi

Vodafone Idea has finished integrating their networks and have rebranded as Vi (pronounced “we”), the company announced in a virtual press conference on Monday. With this, the separation between the Vodafone and Idea brands seems to have ended, with the Vi brand taking over. Both Idea Cellular and Vodafone India’s websites now redirect to the Vi site.

Credit: Vodafone Idea

Vodafone Idea, or Vi as it now wants us to call it, has a long climb ahead of it. It has been losing subscribers rapidly, even as Jio and Airtel make gains on that front. The Supreme Court gave the company ten years to pay its AGR dues, which add more financial stress to the company, which initially requested 20 years to pay those dues off. Malaysian telco Axiata completed its withdrawal of investment from Vodafone Idea this year, exiting the Indian telecom market altogether.

Without fresh capital, Vi may have a tough time surviving on its new brand identity alone. If the company collapses, the Indian wireless internet industry would be reduced to a two-player duopoly plus BSNL, which may increase prices for consumers and harm competitiveness overall. While there have been rumours of Google or Amazon investing in VIL, nothing seems to have materialised yet.

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I cover the digital content ecosystem and telecom for MediaNama.

MediaNama’s mission is to help build a digital ecosystem which is open, fair, global and competitive.

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