Vodafone India

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Vodafone India
Subsidiary
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 1994; 23 years ago (1994)
Headquarters Lower Parel, Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
Area served
India
Key people
Sunil Sood (CEO)
Services Telecommunications
Internet service provider
Revenue 425 billion (US$6.6 billion) (2015)[1]
Members 200.47 million[2] (August 2016)
Parent Vodafone Group plc
Website www.vodafone.in

Vodafone India, is an Indian subsidiary of UK-based Vodafone Group plc, the world's second-largest mobile phone company, is a provider of telecommunications services in India with its operational head office in Mumbai. As of August 2016, Vodafone India has a market share of 18.42% with approximately 200 million subscribers and is the second largest mobile telecommunications network nationally after Airtel.

History[edit]

Hutchison Max Telecom Ltd. (HMTL), a joint venture between Hutchison Whampoa and the Max Group, was established on 21 February 1992.[3] The licence to operate in Mumbai (then Bombay) circle was awarded to Hutchison Max by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in November 1994.[4] The cellular service branded "Max Touch" was launched the same year.[5] Hutchison Max entered into the Delhi telecom circle in December 1999, the Kolkata circle in July 2000 and the Gujarat circle in September 2000. Licences for these circles had initially been awarded by the DoT in 1994, 1997 and 1995 respectively. Between 1992 and 2006, Hutchison acquired interests in all 23 mobile telecom circles of India.[4]

HMTL was renamed Hutchison Essar Limited (HEL) in August 2005.[6] In Delhi, Uttar Pradesh (East), Rajasthan and Haryana, Essar Group was the major partner. But later Hutch took the majority stake. By the time of Hutchison Telecom's Initial Public Offering in 2004, Hutchison Whampoa had acquired interests in six mobile telecommunications operators providing service in 13 of India's 23 licence areas and following the completion of the acquisition of BPL Mobile that number increased to 16. In 2006, it announced the acquisition of a company (Essar Spacetel — A subsidiary of Essar Group) that held licence applications for the seven remaining licence areas. Initially, the company grew its business in the largest wireless markets in India — in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. In these densely populated urban areas it was able to establish a robust network, well-known brand and large distribution network – all vital to long-term success in India. Then it also targeted business users and high-end post-paid customers which helped Hutchison Essar to consistently generate a higher Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) than its competitors. By adopting this focused growth plan, it was able to establish leading positions in India's largest markets providing the resources to expand its footprint nationwide. In February 2007, Hutchison Telecom announced that it had entered into a binding agreement with a subsidiary of Vodafone Group Plc to sell its 67% direct and indirect equity and loan interests in Hutchison Essar Limited for a total cash consideration (before costs, expenses and interests) of approximately $11.1 billion.[citation needed]

Hutch was often praised for its award-winning advertisements which all follow a clean, minimalist look. A recurrent theme is that its message "Hi" stands out visibly though it uses only white letters on red background. Another successful ad campaign in 2003 featured a pug named Cheeka following a boy around in unlikely places, with the tagline, "Wherever you go, our network follows." The simple yet powerful advertisement campaigns won it many admirers. Advertisements featuring the pug were continued by Vodafone even after rebranding. The brand subsequently introduced ZooZoos which gained even higher popularity than was created by the Pug. Vodafone's creative agency is O&M while Harit Nagpal was the Marketing Director during the various phases of its brand evolution.[citation needed]

Vodafone purchases Essar's stake[edit]

In July 2011, Vodafone Group bought the mobile phone business of its partner Essar for $5.46 billion. This meant Vodafone owns 74% of Essar.[7] On 11 February 2007, Vodafone agreed to acquire the controlling interest of 67% held by Li Ka Shing Holdings in Hutch-Essar for US$11.1 billion, pipping Reliance Communications, Hinduja Group, and Essar Group, which is the owner of the remaining 33%. The whole company was valued at USD 18.8 billion.[8] The transaction closed on 8 May 2007. In April 2014, India based Piramal Group sold its 11% Stake in Vodafone India to Prime Metals, an indirect subsidiary of Vodafone Group.[9]

Vodafone-Hutchison tax case[edit]

Vodafone was embroiled in a $2.5 billion tax dispute with the Indian Income Tax Department over its purchase of Hutchison Essar Telecom services in April 2007. It was being alleged by the Indian Tax authorities that the transaction involved purchase of assets of an Indian Company, and therefore the transaction, or part thereof was [10] liable to be taxed in India.[11]

Vodafone Group Plc. entered India in 2007 through a subsidiary based in the Netherlands, which acquired Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd’s (HTIL) stake in Hutchison Essar Ltd (HEL)—the joint venture that held and operated telecom licences in India. This Cayman Islands transaction, along with several related agreements, gave Vodafone control over 67% of HEL and extinguished Hong Kong-based Hutchison’s rights of control in India, a deal that cost the world’s largest telco $11.2 billion at the time.[12]

In January 2012, the Indian Supreme Court passed the judgement in favour of Vodafone, saying that the Indian Income tax department had "no jurisdiction" to levy tax on overseas transaction between companies incorporated outside India. However, Indian government thinks otherwise. It believes that if an Indian company, Hutchison India Ltd., conducts a financial transaction, government should get its tax out of it. Therefore, in 2012, India changed its Income Tax Act retroactively and made sure that any company, in similar circumstances, is not able to avoid tax by operating out of tax-havens like Cayman Islands or Lichtenstein. In May 2012, Indian authorities confirmed that they were going to charge Vodafone about 20000 crore (US $3.3 billion) in tax and fines. The second phase of the dispute is about to start.[13] The Bombay high court on Thursday directed the Income-Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) to hear a Rs.8,600 crore transfer-pricing tax dispute relating to the Indian arm of Vodafone Group Plc from 21 February on a daily basis till a final order is passed.[citation needed]

Merger with Idea Cellular[edit]

Vodafone and Idea Cellular signed a deal in March 2017 that the company will merge in an all stock deal, creating a single entity which will be India's largest telecommunication company. Both networks will continue to carry their own independent brands post merger. The merger is expected to be completed by March 2019.[14] The merger will not include Vodafone's 42% stake in Indus Towers Ltd.

Mobile Network[edit]

In 2011, Vodafone introduced the 3G network on 900 MHz and 1.8 GHz digital GSM technology.

M-Pesa, was launched in India[15][16] as a close partnership with HDFC bank in November 2011.[17][18][19][20][21][22]

On 28 June 2012, Vodafone launched a new international roaming package under which the users shall have not to pay multiple rentals in the countries they are visiting.[23]

On 19 May 2015, TRAI announced that Vodafone had been awarded spectrum in 9 circles for 3G coverage, bidding around 11617.86 million (the second highest amount in the auctions) for the spectrum.[24]

On 8 December 2015, Vodafone announced the roll out of its 4G LTE coverage in India on 1.8 GHz and 2.1 GHz bands starting from Kochi. The service became available to customers in India nationally in 2017, with plans for further expansion.[25]

Vodafone is expected to launch VoLTE services by the end of 2017.[26]

Awards and recognition[edit]

The Brand Trust Report,[27] 2011 published by Trust Research Advisory has ranked Vodafone[28] as the 16th most trusted brand in India.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.moneycontrol.com/news/cnbc-tv18-comments/vodafone-india-kickstarts-ipo-process-sources_6283601.html.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ "Telecom Subscription data, June 2015" (PDF). TRAI. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  3. ^ "Hutchison Max Telecom Limited information". Corporatedir.com. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  4. ^ a b "THE HIGH COURT OF JUDICATURE AT BOMBAY - WRIT PETITION NO.1325 OF 2010" (PDF). Bombay High Court. Retrieved 19 November 2013. 
  5. ^ "Max India Ltd". The Times Of India. 
  6. ^ "Vodafone International Holdings B.V. : Appellant(s) versus Union of India & Anr. : Respondent(s)" (TXT). Courtnic.nic.in. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  7. ^ "BBC News - Vodafone finalises India mobile subsidiary buyout". BBC News. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  8. ^ "/ Companies / Telecoms — Investors welcome Vodafone deal". Ft.com. Retrieved 2009-05-01. 
  9. ^ "Piramal Group to sell Vodafone India stake for Rs. 8900 crore". IANS. news.biharprabha.com. Retrieved 10 April 2014. 
  10. ^ "Idea, Vodafone India Announce Merger, To Be Biggest Telecom Operator In India". NDTV. Retrieved 20 March 2017. 
  11. ^ Lamont, James (2011-06-30). "Vodafone warns India tax bill to hit $5bn". FT.com. Retrieved 2013-06-15. 
  12. ^ http://www.livemint.com/articles/2011/09/20231941/Deal-with-Hutch-was-8216art.html?atype=tp. Retrieved 18 October 2011.  Missing or empty |title= (help)[dead link]
  13. ^ "Vodafone-Hutchison deal: Vodafone wins Rs 11,000 crore tax case - The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  14. ^ "Idea-Vodafone to operate as separate brands; no impact from tax dispute on merger". 
  15. ^ "What you dont now about Mpesa…". The mind of Mbugua Njihia. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  16. ^ "Mobile phone banking in Africa". YouTube. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  17. ^ HDFC Launch. "HDFC Launch". Retrieved 28 June 2012
  18. ^ ICICI Bank. "ICICI Bank". Retrieved 28 June 2012
  19. ^ Russell, Jon (17 April 2013). "Vodafone launches M-Pesa mobile banking service in India, targeting 700m ‘unbanked’ people". The Next Web. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 
  20. ^ "Vodafone to bring M-Pesa service to 20,000 customers in MP". NDTV Gadgets. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  21. ^ PTI. "Vodafone launches money transfer service 'm-pesa' in Delhi". The Hindu Business Line. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  22. ^ "Ignore both Airtel Money and M-Pesa". Moneysaverindia.com. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  23. ^ "Vodafone India offers new international roaming pack". 28 June 2012. 
  24. ^ "India’s 3G Auction Ends; Operator And Circle-Wise Results". MediaNama. Retrieved 24 December 2014. 
  25. ^ http://m.gadgets.ndtv.com/telecom/news/vodafone-india-to-rollout-4g-services-starting-from-kochi-on-monday-775301
  26. ^ "Airtel, Vodafone, Idea may launch VoLTE by September to counter Reliance Jio". 
  27. ^ "A Matter of Trust". Financialexpress.com. Retrieved 2013-06-15. 
  28. ^ "India's most trusted brands - Rediff.com Business". Rediff.com. 2011-01-20. Retrieved 2013-06-15. 

External links[edit]