Displaying items by tag: Reliance Jio

India’s newest 4G telecommunications operator Reliance Jio has launched an investigation amidst claims that the personal data of over 100 million of its customers has been leaked on to a website. If the claims are found to be true, it would represent the largest ever data breach at an Indian telecommunications operator.

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British telecommunications giant Vodafone reported on Tuesday, May 16, an annual net loss of 6.3 billion euros ($6.9 billion) after slashing the value of its troubled Indian division.

The performance in the 12 months to March compared with a net loss of 5.4 billion euros in the previous financial year, Vodafone said in a statement. Revenues declined 4.4 percent to 47.6 billion euros. At the same time, operating profit excluding exceptional items almost tripled to 3.7 billion euros on the back of a painful cost-cutting drive.

In the first half of the year, Vodafone initially took a non-cash impairment of 5.0 billion euros on its Indian activities and blamed a sharp increase in competition. However, in March, Vodafone announced the merger of its Indian unit with Idea Cellular in order to create India's largest telecoms operator and fight ultra-competitive new player Reliance Jio.

Following the deal, Vodafone added Tuesday it had partially reversed the Indian impairment -- but it still stood at 3.7 billion euros over the year.

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Indian telecoms giant Reliance Jio has “fully withdrawn” its Jio Summer Surprise Offer upon advice from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Vodafone claimed in a letter to the regulator that Reliance Jio was “luring customers” to subscribe and was breaking regulatory norms.

“Reliance Jio is continuing with this offer held as not meeting regulatory norms, in the garb of configuration changes,” said Vodafone in a letter to TRAI. “For the past three days, it has been promoting and luring customers to quickly recharge to avail the benefits of a non-compliant offer and also asking its retailers to communicate the same.”

In a statement Reliance Jio said, “Jio will be withdrawing the three months complementary benefits of Jio Summer Surprise as soon as operationally feasible.” The telco then launched another Dhan Dhana Dhan offer which users can avail, giving 1GB of data per day for a period of three months with a recharge of Rs 309 and 2GB per day for three months with recharge of Rs 509. The offer also provides unlimited voice calls and SMS.

"The plans start with the most affordable Rs. 309 ALL UNLIMITED PLAN, which provides Unlimited SMS, calling and data (1GB per day at 4G speed) for 3 months on first recharge," Jio said in a press release. It added: "The company also announced the Rs. 509 ALL UNLIMITED PLAN for daily high data users offering Unlimited SMS, calling and data (2GB per day at 4G speed) for 3 months on first recharge."

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British telecommunications giant Vodafone has given the green light to its Indian unit to merge with Idea Cellular in order to create India’s largest telecoms operator. The merger has been made out of necessity following the emergence of 4G newcomer Reliance Jio.

Reliance Jio has disrupted the competitive Indian telecommunications market since it entered the sector in September, 2016. The company which is owned by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani - announced its arrival in emphatic fashion by offering vastly cheaper data packages and free voice calls for life. That subsequently led Norwegian operator Telenor to see its operations in India to Bharti Airtel.

The merger between Vodafone India and Idea Cellular has been touted for a number of months now – but it was officially confirmed by both organizations in a joint statement which was released to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). The statement read, “Vodafone Group Plc and Idea Cellular today announced that they have reached an agreement to combine their operations in India. The combined company would become the leading communications provider in India with almost 400 million customers, 35 percent customer market share and 41 percent revenue market share.”

Following the merger, shares prices In Idea have rose by almost 4% in Mumbai – the partnership between Idea and Vodafone will now ensure it overtakes Bharti Airtel as India’s largest telecoms operator.  It’s believed that Vodafone will hold 45.1% of the merged entity – while Idea will have 26%.

According to reports from Bloomberg the merger will be worth around $23.2 billion based on the combined enterprise value of both organizations. It has also been disclosed that both companies will nominate three directors each in order to form a board.

Global brokerage firm CLSA has estimated that the Vodafone-Idea tie-up would command a revenue market share of 43 percent by the start of the 2019 financial year ahead of Airtel on 33 percent. Jio would have 13 percent.

The combination of Vodafone India and Idea will create a new champion of Digital India founded with a long-term commitment and vision to bring world class 4G networks to villages, towns and cities across India," Vodafone Group chief executive Vittorio Colao said in the statement.

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India's 4G telecommunications operator Reliance Jio have agreed to extend its partnership with South Korean colossus Samsung. The announcement between the two organizations was made at Mobile World Congress, in Barcelona. It was disclosed that the pair plan to collaborate in order to enhance the operator's LTE network in rural parts of India. Both parties are confident that if they can successfully implement this project it will take coverage to 90% of the Indian population by the end of 2017.

In September, 2016, the Indian 4G upstart launched India's first nationwide LTE network - and that subsequently led to the company signing up more than 100 million 4G subscribers in just a six month period. South Korean conglomerate Samsung is the operator's sole LTE network provider.
President of Reliance Jio, Jyotindra Thacker revealed that India now has the largest data market globally and that its daily data volumes are 50% higher than that of China. Incredibly, India was ranked 150th in worldwide data volumes prior to Jio entering the market. He said, "We've taken the country from data shortage to data abundance, and we aim to become the fifth largest operator in the world."

Tareq Amin, SVP of Reliance Jio, indicated that it will work closely with Samsung representatives in order to continue development on its network - and in addition to this disclosed that both organizations were keen to improve infrastructure in urban and rural blackspots. He refused to disclose how many new base stations it plans to add in 2017 - but stated that improving coverage is not just a matter of adding more sites. He said, "We'll improve efficiency in the RAN as well as the core, but improving overall network coverage is not just about more sites, it is more complex than that."

Reliance also boldly claimed that it has more than twice as many 4G sites as all of its competitors combined. The announcement comes just days after Bharti Airtel revealed its plans to scrap domestic roaming charges and called for the operators to come together in order to remove international roaming charges and tariffs. The Indian telecommunications sector is one of the most competitive in the world.

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Indian operator agrees deal with Uber over its new app

Written on Tuesday, 21 February 2017 12:09

Reliance Jio, India’s newest telecommunications operator has reached an agreement with US global ride-sharing platform Uber - which will enable passengers to pay for services by utilizing the operator’s new application. The Indian 4G newcomer have recently launched an application called JioMoney which is a digital wallet.

The partnership between the firm and Uber will allow those who have the JioMoney app to be able to request to pay for Uber rides by using the application - this will subsequently provide a major boost to cashless payments in India – and also provides mobility options to millions of Reliance Jio customers.

Uber have started to rollout the JioMoney payment options right across the Indian nation – Uber’s chief business officer in India, Madhu Kannan, expressed their delight at the agreement brokered between the two organizations.

In a statement he said, “We are delighted to partner with Reliance Jio to unlock synergies across two of the largest user bases in India. Digital payments have become part of our everyday lives and by integrating JioMoney as a payment options, our riders will have the ability to use a familiar and consistent payment experience.”

In addition to this, Uber’s chief business officer believes the strategic partnership between the two companies will fast forward digital solutions at a large scale for Indian users. Those sentiments were echoed by Head of Business at JioMoney, Anirban Mukherjee - who declared the integration with Uber will power the rapid migration of many more Uber transactions to the digital platform.

Both organizations disclosed that they will celebrate the collaboration by offering special incentives in the form of coupons, which will be made available through the application to users paying for Uber rides through the JioMoney app.

Uber has entered into similar arrangements in the past in India. In 2014, they integrated Paytm into its platform which gave users an alternative payment option to credit cards. However, users couldn’t book or pay for rides by using the Paytm application. Analysts have predicted that this deal with Jio will directly challenge Paytm’s dominance in the digital payments market in India.

Jio has announced that it has reached its launch target ahead of schedule – it claims to have signed up to 100 million subscribers in just the first five months of its operation – which they say is ahead of schedule.

The operator officially launched its service in September, offering a range of free data, voice and messaging services to quickly build its subscriber base. Although the free offers were initially due to expire in December, Jio extended the period to end of March.

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India’s second largest telecom operator has been forced to restructure its management team following the departures of a number of key executives from the organization. Some industry analysts have suggested the emergence and impact of 4G start-up Reliance Jio was the main reason behind the restructuring process.

The former CEO of Vodafone Czech Republic, Balesh Sharma has been appointed COO of Vodafone India’s commercial and enterprise units, replacing Naveen Chopra who held this position for a period of two years. He will remain with the company and is expected to be named in a new role soon.

Representatives of Vodafone India have played down the significance of the restructuring – and dismissed suggestions that the reshuffle was a reactive measure taken due to rival Reliance Jio extending its free voice and data offers.

A spokesman for Vodafone India stated it was ‘business as usual’ and the purpose of the restructuring was in order to make decisions faster and integrate its commercial strategy with operational teams in a much more effective manner.

Other high-profile changes within the company will see Head of M-Pesa, Suresh Sethi – the figure behind its payment bank initiative is expected to depart soon– while the telecom operator named Rahul Bhagat as an adviser. Ravi Santhanam, who was in charge of customer value management, a role that reported to the CMO, resigned.

The entry of Reliance Jio to the market in India has forced the country’s top three mobile players, Bharit Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Celluar to follow Jio’s lead with generous free voice and data offers, which subsequently sparked a price war in the region.

Reports emerged last week that Vodafone Group had entered merger negotiations with its rival Idea in a bid to fend off and combat the increased competition in the hugely competitive market.

Vodafone CEO Vittorio Colao said a plan to merge its Indian business with Idea is not a sign the company is exiting the market or backing away from a fight with Jio.

However, Vodafone India isn’t the only player looking to gain scale via a merger. It has been reported that Telenor India has expressed its interest in exploring a merger through a share swap with Aircel and Reliance Communications, which are themselves trying to merge to create the country’s third largest operator.

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British telecoms giant Vodafone reported that its annual earnings would probably be low in India due to high competition and difficulties, but it remains confident about its performance in both Europe and Africa.

In a statement, Vodafone said that underlying profit – as measured by earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) – would be lesser than its prior guidance of between 15.7-16.1 billion euros (around $17 billion).

“We anticipate intense competitive pressure in India in the fourth quarter and are taking a series of commercial actions,” said chief executive Vittorio Colao, which includes expansion of 4G network technology. “Our overall performance in Europe and Africa remained strong during the third quarter, reflecting good execution,” he added. “In Europe, service revenue growth continued, led by Italy, Germany and Span.”

However, India remains a struggle for Vodafone because of challenging trade. The company booked a vast 6.4-billion-euro impairment charge on its investment for the first half of the current financial year, AFP reported.

Vodafone recently announced it was in talks to merge its Indian unit with Idea Cellular in a bid to create the largest telecoms company in India. Vodafone India issued a statement and declared that there is no certainty any agreement will be reached between the two operators, but conceded if it did, that it would result in the de-consolidating of Vodafone India.

The statement said: “Vodafone confirms that it is in discussions with the Aditya Birla Group about an all share merger of Vodafone India (excluding Vodafone's 42% stake in Indus Towers) and Idea. Any merger would be affected through the issue of new shares in Idea to Vodafone and would result in Vodafone de-consolidating Vodafone India. There is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms or timing of any transaction.”

Vodafone’s revelation of the merger discussion ended months of speculation that the two operators were exploring the idea of aligning to fend off Reliance Jio, the company whose recent arrival in India shook up the country’s competitive mobile network market.

Reliance Jio, owned by India’s wealthiest national, began operations with great anticipation from the public last year. The 4G Jio network launched in September with an audacious free service for the rest of 2016, followed by vastly cheaper data plans and free voice calls for life.

Reliance Jio’s introduction forced its rivals to follow suit and slash their tariffs and left them struggling to match the deep pockets of Jio, which is backed by India’s extremely wealthy energy-to-chemicals conglomerate Reliance Industries.

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Vodafone confirmed that it has entered into merger negotiations with Idea Cellular in a move that could result in the creation of the largest telecoms company in India. The announcement has ended months of speculation in relation to the two operators entering a partnership agreement in an effort to fend off Reliance Jio.

Its emergence into the market has had a significant impact in what is already a saturated and ultra-competitive mobile network market. The confirmation of the negotiations has a huge impact on trading with idea shares, rocketing by a whopping 26% on the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).

Vodafone India issued a statement and declared that there is no certainty any agreement will be reached between the two operators, but conceded if it did, that it would result in the de-consolidating of Vodafone India.

The statement said: “Vodafone confirms that it is in discussions with the Aditya Birla Group about an all share merger of Vodafone India (excluding Vodafone's 42% stake in Indus Towers) and Idea. Any merger would be affected through the issue of new shares in Idea to Vodafone and would result in Vodafone de-consolidating Vodafone India. There is no certainty that any transaction will be agreed, nor as to the terms or timing of any transaction.

Some analysts have suggested that a merger between Vodafone India and the Mumbai-based Idea Cellular would effectively turn India lucrative multi-billion dollar telecommunications market on its head.  The group of analysts has estimated that the pair would command a combined revenue market share of 43 percent, ahead of rival Bharti Airtel, which would hold 33 percent.

Reliance Jio, has enjoyed great success since its inception last year – and the company is owned by India’s richest man, Mukesh Ambani who would have 13% according to some analysts who have carried out research into the proposed merger.

In September, the 4G Jio network launched an audacious free service for the remainder of the year. In addition to this it offered customers considerably cheaper data plans and free voice calls for life. That forced the hand of its rivals – and they responded by dramatically reducing their tariffs. It forced them to dig deep to compete with Jio who is heavily financed by India’s wealthy energy-to-chemicals conglomerate Reliance Industries.

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Competition in India’s telco sector has intensified since Reliance Jio was launched into the market in September 2016, adding 52 million subscribers in its first three months of operation. A report by a UK newspaper indicated that Vodafone India and Idea Cellular were seeking a merging with Reliance Jio. But the story has been denied by sources in a report by the Hindustan Times.

The newspaper’s sources said India’s current spectrum holding limits and revenue market share caps both indicate that a merger is not likely. A source from Idea Cellular was also noted in the newspaper article as denying that the company was in talks with Reliance Jio.

Competition in India’s telco sector has grown fierce since Reliance Jio entered the scene after it took a large share of the market from its competitors. The new provider of telecom services offered a range of attractive free services to customers to reel them in, which then lead to Reliance Jio’s competitors – including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular – to reduce the price of their offerings to match.

Vodafone Group responded to the threat by investing in its India unit last year, which included a payment to reduce its debt and also increase its 4G spectrum holding at an October auction. The company announced in November that its revenues in India had increased in its fiscal H1 (which covers the period to end-March). Vodafone also confirmed its plans to proceed with an IPO of its Indian unit “as soon as market conditions allow.”

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