Vodafone chief executive officer Nick Read, said the business in India went through a tough period but it was "well-positioned" now and planned to invest in network and monetisation of its assets (Photo: LLUIS GENE/AFP/Getty Images).


BRITISH telecom giant Vodafone today (25) alleged that the regulatory outcomes in India over the past two years have been against every telecom operator except Reliance Jio.

Vodafone operates in India as Vodafone Idea Limited, in partnership with Aditya Birla Group.

Vodafone chief executive officer Nick Read, said the business in India went through a tough period but it was “well-positioned” now and planned to invest in network and monetisation of its assets.

“I think we only asked for level-playing field, in terms of regulations, Read said. “Over the last two years, we had many regulatory outcomes that were against every one in the market except Jio. We made that point clear,” the CEO told reporters at the Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona.

He, however, said the current level of mobile services rates are the lowest in India and are not sustainable.

“All three players in the market are haemorrhaging cash… Pricing is the lowest (in India) in the world for now; the average consumer is consuming 12 gigabits (GB) at price points you don’t see anywhere else. Ultimately, pricing will go up, that does not mean it jumps, it will moderate,” Read said.

Vodafone Idea has raised the minimum tariff to Rs 35, increasing the company’s average revenue per user by 1.5 per cent on a quarterly basis to Rs 89.

The total debt of Vodafone Idea stood at Rs 1,236.6 billion at the end of December 31, 2018.

“Heavy discounting is going on. At the moment, we provide fantastic 4G service at the market and it is too early for 5G in terms of handset penetration. If we bring in 5G now, we won’t be using high amounts of handsets,” Read noted.

(PTI)