Telecom major Airtel’s founder and chief Sunil Bharati Mittal has said that a merger of Idea and Vodafone would be a great thing for the industry and the two companies. Since Reliance Jio was launched in the market, all telecom operators have been forced to rethink their strategies and business models for the coming years. Jio has been offering its customers a plan where all its voice calls, text messages and internet data is free till 31st March 2017. It has also promised to keep all voice calls and text messages free forever. This has forced many small operators like Videocon, Aircel, Telenor and a few others to re-evaluate if they can continue to be in the hyper competitve telecom market of India.
Due to this, recently there was news of Vodafone looking for a merger or a buy out with either Jio or Idea. Mr. Sunil Mittal said that a merger of Idea and Vodafone would be ideal as these companies would complement each other.
Vodafone is said to be very strong in urban areas, while Airtel is very strong in rural areas. The merged entity would be very strong. Rumours also say that Vodafone may also be looking to sell its entire India business and exit the Indian market completely.
Mr. Mittal also commented on the possibility of Airtel buying out Telenor. Telenor has been in India for quite a long time, although it had a rough start with its Indian partners, Unitech. Telenor is currently being wooed by Anil Ambani led Reliance and Sunil Mittal led Airtel. Aircel, another Indian telecom company, is however, not getting any buyers as it is embroiled in a scam that involves the former Union Telecom Minister, Dayanidhi Maran.