VOD - Vodafone Group Plc

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real Time Price. Currency in USD
20.00
-0.04 (-0.20%)
At close: 4:00PM EST

20.00 0.00 (0.00%)
After hours: 4:00PM EST

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Previous Close20.04
Open20.03
Bid20.00 x 4000
Ask20.25 x 3100
Day's Range19.90 - 20.09
52 Week Range15.53 - 21.72
Volume1,848,493
Avg. Volume2,938,927
Market Cap54.11B
Beta (5Y Monthly)0.58
PE Ratio (TTM)N/A
EPS (TTM)-2.82
Earnings DateN/A
Forward Dividend & Yield0.99 (4.92%)
Ex-Dividend DateNov 26, 2019
1y Target Est27.35
  • Carriers Take Multi-Vendor Approach to Deter Huawei Dominance
    Zacks

    Carriers Take Multi-Vendor Approach to Deter Huawei Dominance

    Despite 5G's inherent potential to deliver ultra-low latency connections, Huawei's U.S. ban, dependence on single networking vendor and coronavirus epidemic might hamper the industry's prospects.

  • Safaricom Likely to Borrow to Fund Ethiopia Telecom Bid
    Bloomberg

    Safaricom Likely to Borrow to Fund Ethiopia Telecom Bid

    (Bloomberg) -- Safaricom Plc., weighing an offer for Ethiopia’s telecom business later this year, plans to take on debt to fund a joint bid by a consortium including parent Vodacom Group Ltd. and two other entities.“We do know the investment to build the network in Ethiopia will be big,” Safaricom’s interim Chief Executive Officer Michael Joseph said in an interview at the company’s Nairobi headquarters. “So all of us will have to borrow to invest. The composition of the consortium will be on your willingness and your capability of taking on debt and your willingness to take a risk.”The privatization of Ethiopian Telecommunications Corp. and issuance of two spectrum licenses has been delayed by elections that were pushed to August from May, according to Joseph. The government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed hasn’t yet provided guidance on the bidding process, including any limits on foreign ownership, he said.East Africa’s biggest company had total borrowings of 4 billion shillings ($39.5 million) in 2019, and 36.3 billion shillings in undrawn bank facilities, according to its annual report. Revenue has been rising every year since 2003, when the company became profitable, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.“Leverage makes sense for Safaricom considering their balance sheet size, so the cost of borrowing will be low,” Silha Rasugu, an analyst at EFG Hermes, said in response to emailed questions. “It also allows them to maintain dividend payout through the high capex cycle as they build a network in Ethiopia.”Safaricom shares closed unchanged at 29.95 shillings after a seven-day losing streak on the Nairobi Securities Exchange.Unlike Kenya, where Safaricom’s business became profitable within 3 1/2 years, Joseph said Ethiopia is “probably a 10-year journey.”Regulatory ChangeOpening up the telecommunications industry is part of a raft of reforms to liberalize Ethiopia’s economy as Abiy looks to increase foreign-capital inflows. Other carriers, including Orange SA and MTN Group Ltd., have expressed interest in expanding in the nation of more than 100 million people, which has a relatively low level of data penetration and internet access.In December, Ethiopia’s investment-promotion agency released proposed regulations that would reserve banking and micro-finance for local investors, which would prevent Safaricom from providing such services via its M-Pesa payments platform.“We cannot go in there as Safaricom and provide mobile-money services if we have to give it all away to somebody else just under some sort of technical support,” Joseph said. “We will if we have to, but in the end we want to have a license to provide those services, so the regulations will have to change.”(Updates with analyst comment from fifth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Bella Genga in Nairobi at bgenga2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: David Malingha at dmalingha@bloomberg.net, Helen NyamburaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Can Vodafone survive in India?

    All eyes are on Vodafone’s Indian joint venture to see if it can stave off collapse following a Supreme Court ruling that it must pay $7bn in retroactive levies and penalties by March 17. The verdict has left Vodafone Idea in a precarious position. Here are key questions about the dispute that is pressuring the company and the wider Indian telecoms sector.

  • Exclusive: Vodafone, Telecom Italia offer rivals access to some sites to ease EU concerns – EU paper
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Vodafone, Telecom Italia offer rivals access to some sites to ease EU concerns – EU paper

    Vodafone and Telecom Italia have offered to allow rivals access to sites in some cities for up to nine years, a proposal aimed at allaying EU antitrust concerns over the creation of Italy’s largest mobile tower company, according to an EU document seen by Reuters. The companies announced the deal in July last year which will see Vodafone transfer its Italian mobile masts to INWIT , TIM’s 60%-owned subsidiary. For the telecoms industry, combining towers or sharing networks to reduce debt and share costs are seen as an alternative to counter EU antitrust regulators’ tough line on telecoms mergers that reduce the number of players in a market from four to three.

  • Exclusive: Vodafone, Telecom Italia offer rivals access to some sites to ease EU concerns - EU paper
    Reuters

    Exclusive: Vodafone, Telecom Italia offer rivals access to some sites to ease EU concerns - EU paper

    Vodafone and Telekom Italia have offered to allow rivals access to sites in some cities for up to nine years, a proposal aimed at allaying EU antitrust concerns over the creation of Italy’s largest mobile tower company, according to an EU document seen by Reuters. The companies announced the deal in July last year which will see Vodafone transfer its Italian mobile masts to INWIT , TIM’s 60%-owned subsidiary. For the telecoms industry, combining towers or sharing networks to reduce debt and share costs are seen as an alternative to counter EU antitrust regulators’ tough line on telecoms mergers that reduce the number of players in a market from four to three.

  • Huawei Scare Pushes Carriers to Tackle Dominance of 5G Suppliers
    Bloomberg

    Huawei Scare Pushes Carriers to Tackle Dominance of 5G Suppliers

    (Bloomberg) -- With the U.S. campaign against Huawei Technologies Co. threatening to disrupt the rollout of 5G wireless networks, phone carriers are joining forces to develop technology that can reduce their reliance on a handful of powerful equipment suppliers.The Chinese company dominates the European market for telecommunications gear, ahead of Ericsson AB of Sweden and Finland’s Nokia Oyj. Governments are weighing whether to follow the U.K. and limit Huawei’s share of 5G networks over concerns -- denied by the company -- that it represents a security risk.If they do, it could knock the progress of 5G off course: The big three have designed a lot of their wireless gear so it can’t easily be integrated in the same network, much like an electric toothbrush only works with its own brush heads. So building 5G with Nokia or Ericsson kit on top of Huawei 4G infrastructure is fraught with complexity and costs.Companies including Deutsche Telekom AG and Vodafone Group Plc have decided to combine separate projects to develop a more standardized, flexible network architecture that would make it easier for carriers to use products from multiple vendors, according to people familiar with the matter.Under the plans, the O-RAN industry alliance, backed by Deutsche Telekom and AT&T Inc. among others, will align its work with the Telecom Infra Project, which was started by Facebook Inc. and is supported by several phone companies, said the people, who asked not to be named as the plans aren’t yet public.The industry is pursuing the efforts with greater urgency partly because they’re alarmed by the prospect of restrictions on Huawei in more markets such as Germany, one of the people said. The U.K.’s decision to limit Huawei’s share of broadband infrastructure already led BT Group Plc to predict a 500 million-pound ($650 million) hit to its finances.The carriers were planning to announce the O-RAN/TIP initiative at the wireless industry’s biggest annual showcase in Barcelona next week, before it was canceled due to the coronavirus outbreak, the people said. An announcement could instead come as early as this week.O-RAN’s goal from the start has been to “invite in more players with new ideas to help make the network stronger and more secure,” said Deutsche Telekom spokeswoman Pia Habel. She declined further comment.A spokeswoman for TIP declined to comment. A representative for O-RAN could not immediately be reached for comment.Negotiating PowerEnsuring that antennas, switches and other gear from competing suppliers can communicate seamlessly may also make it harder for any vendor -- Ericsson and Nokia included -- to clinch contracts just because the customer already uses its equipment. That could strengthen the negotiating position of carriers in contracts for 5G networks that are set to cost the industry hundreds of billions of dollars.AT&T has said it wants to replace the proprietary software that Nokia, Ericsson and Huawei use to run their wireless network gear with an open software.Vodafone has begun issuing small contracts for OpenRAN, an initiative backed by TIP to standardize radio access network hardware and software. CEO Nick Read said in October that Vodafone was “ready to fast track it into Europe as we seek to actively expand our vendor ecosystem.”O-RAN began in 2018 as a lobbying and research effort to make the radio access network -- the largest part of a wireless system -- more transparent and inter-operable. TIP is a broader project involving hundreds of companies working across all elements of networks.O-RAN and TIP may already be changing the economics of the industry and giving newer players more room. It’s now possible to design a “virtual” wireless network, which uses standardized, open-source software in conjunction with hardware from different vendors.Rakuten Inc. is using such technology to roll out a virtual network in Japan. U.S. satellite broadcaster Dish Network Corp., a member of the O-RAN alliance, aims to build a 5G network along similar lines.Ericsson and Nokia, reluctant to pick a fight with their biggest customers, have publicly welcomed O-RAN and TIP. Ericsson has joined O-RAN, while Nokia supports TIP and has been helping Rakuten build the Japanese network.Nokia Chief Executive Officer Rajeev Suri said in April last year it’s “better to be involved than not,” although he didn’t expect the model to be replicated in other parts of the world.\--With assistance from Thomas Seal, Angelina Rascouet, Niclas Rolander and Scott Moritz.To contact the reporters on this story: Stefan Nicola in Berlin at snicola2@bloomberg.net;Rodrigo Orihuela in Madrid at rorihuela@bloomberg.net;Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at ndrozdiak1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Thomas Pfeiffer at tpfeiffer3@bloomberg.net, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Vodafone Idea to pay 35 billion rupees in telecom dues this week
    Reuters

    Vodafone Idea to pay 35 billion rupees in telecom dues this week

    Beleaguered Indian wireless carrier Vodafone Idea will pay 35 billion rupees ($490 million) in telecom dues to the federal government by the end of this week, the company said on Monday. Hopes that Vodafone Idea could outlive the financial squeeze due to the outstanding dues payments helped its shares gain as much as 23.5%, their best intraday gain since Jan. 21, after dropping more than 24% on Friday. "While there is a concern that Vodafone is against the wall, there is a slim hope that they will get through," said Siddhartha Khemka, head of research at Motilal Oswal Financial Services in Mumbai.

  • India's Vodafone Idea to pay 35 billion rupees in telecom dues this week, shares rise
    Reuters

    India's Vodafone Idea to pay 35 billion rupees in telecom dues this week, shares rise

    Beleaguered Indian wireless carrier Vodafone Idea will pay 35 billion rupees ($490 million) in telecoms dues to the federal government by Feb. 21, a lawyer for the company said on Monday. Hopes that Vodafone Idea could outlive the financial squeeze due to the outstanding dues payments helped its shares gain as much as 23.5% on Monday, their best intraday gain since Jan 21, after dropping more than 24% percent on Friday. "While there is a concern that Vodafone is against the wall, there is a slim hope that they will get through," said Siddhartha Khemka, head of research at Motilal Oswal Financial Services in Mumbai.

  • Vodafone assesses payment to India in dispute over dues
    Reuters

    Vodafone assesses payment to India in dispute over dues

    Vodafone Idea Ltd said on Saturday it was assessing how much it would pay the Indian government as part of dues owed and said it proposed making a payment in the next few days. India ordered mobile carriers on Friday to immediately pay billions of dollars in dues after the Supreme Court threatened the companies and officials with contempt proceedings for failing to implement an earlier ruling. The move threatens the survival of Vodafone Idea, a joint venture between Britain's Vodafone Group Plc and India's Idea Cellular, as the unit is saddled with about $3.9 billion in overdue payments.

  • Reuters

    Coronavirus empties exhibition halls, but over time the show will go on

    When Victoria Beckham sends her models down the London catwalk on Sunday, many of her most important clients will not be sitting in the front row but following from afar as the coronavirus outbreak hobbles international events. The drive by London Fashion Week to communicate with absent Chinese buyers is just one of the ways the global events industry is adapting, quickly, to keep the show on the road. Caroline Rush, head of the British Fashion Council, said it wanted to keep dialogue open and buyers engaged.

  • Financial Times

    Vodafone’s India venture on brink of collapse after court ruling

    India’s Supreme Court rejected an application from telecoms companies to defer paying billions of dollars in historic levies to the government, in a ruling that leaves Vodafone’s local joint venture on the verge of collapse. Telecoms companies, including Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, were ordered to pay $13bn to the government by March 17, said a court judgment on Friday, which chastised them for not depositing dues earlier. Vodafone’s local partner has previously said the sum could cause it to “shut shop”.

  • Bloomberg

    Vodafone Idea Faces Collapse After Court Ruling on Liabilities

    (Bloomberg) -- India’s top court rejected a plea by mobile carriers seeking more time to settle billions of dollars in back-fees, threatening to push Vodafone Group Plc’s beleaguered local venture to the brink weeks after it warned of a potential collapse.The Supreme Court’s three-judge panel, headed by Arun Mishra, said Friday that operators including Vodafone Idea Ltd. and Bharti Airtel Ltd. -- owing a total of $13 billion in dues for spectrum and licenses -- must deposit the dues by March 17. Shares of Vodafone Idea plunged.In its October verdict, the top court upheld the way the government calculated fees using a formula disputed by the companies, and in January, it rejected their petition to reconsider the order. On Friday, the court also initiated contempt proceedings against the firms for failing to comply with its order to pay the dues by Jan. 24.The stunning setback now leaves few options for Vodafone Idea, which needs to pay $4 billion, the highest among its peers, even as it struggles to stem record losses and rein in net debt that has ballooned to $14 billion. Highlighting its dire finances, Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said in December that the firm may be headed toward insolvency in the absence of any relief.No SenseWith U.K.-based Vodafone having signaled it isn’t likely to plow any more money into the venture in which it holds 45%, it falls on the Indian partner and billionaire Birla to chart a future course for the teetering operator. “It doesn’t make sense to put good money after bad,” Birla said Dec. 6.“There’s zero hope for Vodafone idea,” said Neerav Dalal, an analyst at Kim Eng Securities Pvt. in Mumbai. “Some relaxation by the Supreme Court would’ve got them some breathing space. They’re definitely not in a position to pay.”A spokesman for Vodafone Idea in Mumbai offered no immediate comments after the verdict.Modi’s ChallengeA collapse of a top wireless operator and the accompanying job losses would be another embarrassment for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who rode to power promising employment opportunities for the country’s youth. On Modi’s watch, Jet Airways India Ltd. grounded its planes last year after buckling under debt. The airline, once the nation’s largest, is now facing bankruptcy.Vodafone Idea’s woes highlight the struggle Indian telecommunications companies have faced in a market plagued by high spectrum and license fees, frequent policy flip-flops and endless tax demands.As more than a dozen operators jostled for a slice of the world’s second-biggest market by subscribers, frequent price wars weighed on the earnings of companies that were spending billions of dollars on their networks.Jio StormIn 2016, the entry of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. pushed others to the edge. Jio’s free calls and cheap data forced two into bankruptcy, prompted some -- like Vodafone’s India unit and Idea -- to merge and many to pack up. Two non-state carriers -- Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea -- survived the war, while Jio came out on top.Vodafone Idea has been losing millions of subscribers to Jio, which racked up more than 370 million users in about three years.Even if Birla decides to revive Vodafone Idea, getting the capital to claw back those lost users will be a hurdle.“The challenge is where will the money come from to survive and expand,” Kim Eng’s Dalal said before Friday’s ruling. “They’ve got to think something out of the box to come out of this.”Shares of Vodafone Idea sank as much as 19% on Friday in Mumbai, extending their losses in the past year to 81%.Catch-22The dispute between the government and the operators over the calculation of fees has meandered through India’s legal system for years. The court decided to reject the pleas for extra time despite the Modi administration’s willingness to negotiate the terms of payment in the wake of Birla’s warning.Stripping out interest from the dues or a staggered payment are some ideas the government can discuss, an official with knowledge of the matter said last month, asking not to be identified citing rules.“It is a Catch-22 situation,” said Arun Kejriwal, director at KRIS, a Mumbai-based investment advisory firm. “The government can neither upset the Supreme Court nor allow Vodafone Idea to collapse.”Facing a $3 billion bill itself, Bharti Airtel sold shares and convertible bonds to help raise the amount last month. Although Bharti Airtel -- which counts Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. among its main investors -- is also weighed down by net debt of about $16 billion, investors are betting on better prospects for recovery in a market left with fewer carriers after the consolidation.Highlighting their confidence, shares of Bharti Airtel rose as much as 4.6% Friday to a record, doubling in value in the past year. A spokesman for the company didn’t comment immediately.To contact the reporters on this story: Upmanyu Trivedi in New Delhi at utrivedi2@bloomberg.net;P R Sanjai in Mumbai at psanjai@bloomberg.net;Ragini Saxena in Mumbai at rsaxena30@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Nagarajan at samnagarajan@bloomberg.net, Bhuma ShrivastavaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • India’s Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Vodafone’s Plea Over Payments
    Bloomberg

    India’s Supreme Court Agrees to Hear Vodafone’s Plea Over Payments

    (Bloomberg) -- India’s top court rejected a plea by mobile carriers seeking more time to settle billions of dollars in back-fees, threatening to push Vodafone Group Plc’s beleaguered local venture to the brink weeks after it warned of a potential collapse.The Supreme Court’s three-judge panel, headed by Arun Mishra, said Friday that operators including Vodafone Idea Ltd. and Bharti Airtel Ltd. -- owing a total of $13 billion in dues for spectrum and licenses -- must deposit the dues by March 17. Shares of Vodafone Idea plunged.In its October verdict, the top court upheld the way the government calculated fees using a formula disputed by the companies, and in January, it rejected their petition to reconsider the order. On Friday, the court also initiated contempt proceedings against the firms for failing to comply with its order to pay the dues by Jan. 24.The stunning setback now leaves few options for Vodafone Idea, which needs to pay $4 billion, the highest among its peers, even as it struggles to stem record losses and rein in net debt that has ballooned to $14 billion. Highlighting its dire finances, Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said in December that the firm may be headed toward insolvency in the absence of any relief.No SenseWith U.K.-based Vodafone having signaled it isn’t likely to plow any more money into the venture in which it holds 45%, it falls on the Indian partner and billionaire Birla to chart a future course for the teetering operator. “It doesn’t make sense to put good money after bad,” Birla said Dec. 6.“There’s zero hope for Vodafone idea,” said Neerav Dalal, an analyst at Kim Eng Securities Pvt. in Mumbai. “Some relaxation by the Supreme Court would’ve got them some breathing space. They’re definitely not in a position to pay.”A spokesman for Vodafone Idea in Mumbai offered no immediate comments after the verdict.Modi’s ChallengeA collapse of a top wireless operator and the accompanying job losses would be another embarrassment for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who rode to power promising employment opportunities for the country’s youth. On Modi’s watch, Jet Airways India Ltd. grounded its planes last year after buckling under debt. The airline, once the nation’s largest, is now facing bankruptcy.Vodafone Idea’s woes highlight the struggle Indian telecommunications companies have faced in a market plagued by high spectrum and license fees, frequent policy flip-flops and endless tax demands.As more than a dozen operators jostled for a slice of the world’s second-biggest market by subscribers, frequent price wars weighed on the earnings of companies that were spending billions of dollars on their networks.Jio StormIn 2016, the entry of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. pushed others to the edge. Jio’s free calls and cheap data forced two into bankruptcy, prompted some -- like Vodafone’s India unit and Idea -- to merge and many to pack up. Two non-state carriers -- Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea -- survived the war, while Jio came out on top.Vodafone Idea has been losing millions of subscribers to Jio, which racked up more than 370 million users in about three years.Even if Birla decides to revive Vodafone Idea, getting the capital to claw back those lost users will be a hurdle.“The challenge is where will the money come from to survive and expand,” Kim Eng’s Dalal said before Friday’s ruling. “They’ve got to think something out of the box to come out of this.”Shares of Vodafone Idea sank as much as 19% on Friday in Mumbai, extending their losses in the past year to 81%.Catch-22The dispute between the government and the operators over the calculation of fees has meandered through India’s legal system for years. The court decided to reject the pleas for extra time despite the Modi administration’s willingness to negotiate the terms of payment in the wake of Birla’s warning.Stripping out interest from the dues or a staggered payment are some ideas the government can discuss, an official with knowledge of the matter said last month, asking not to be identified citing rules.“It is a Catch-22 situation,” said Arun Kejriwal, director at KRIS, a Mumbai-based investment advisory firm. “The government can neither upset the Supreme Court nor allow Vodafone Idea to collapse.”Facing a $3 billion bill itself, Bharti Airtel sold shares and convertible bonds to help raise the amount last month. Although Bharti Airtel -- which counts Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. among its main investors -- is also weighed down by net debt of about $16 billion, investors are betting on better prospects for recovery in a market left with fewer carriers after the consolidation.Highlighting their confidence, shares of Bharti Airtel rose as much as 4.6% Friday to a record, doubling in value in the past year. A spokesman for the company didn’t comment immediately.To contact the reporters on this story: Upmanyu Trivedi in New Delhi at utrivedi2@bloomberg.net;P R Sanjai in Mumbai at psanjai@bloomberg.net;Ragini Saxena in Mumbai at rsaxena30@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Nagarajan at samnagarajan@bloomberg.net, Bhuma ShrivastavaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Vodafone Idea at Risk After India Court Rejects Plea

    (Bloomberg) -- India’s top court rejected a plea by mobile carriers seeking more time to settle billions of dollars in back-fees and began contempt proceedings against the companies, threatening to push Vodafone Group Plc’s beleaguered local venture to the brink weeks after it warned of a potential collapse.The Supreme Court’s three-judge panel, headed by Arun Mishra, said Friday that operators including Vodafone Idea Ltd. and Bharti Airtel Ltd. -- owing a total of $13 billion in back-fees for spectrum and licenses -- must deposit the dues by March 17. The companies’ shares plunged.In its October verdict, the top court upheld the way the government calculated fees using a formula disputed by the companies, and in January, it rejected their petition to reconsider the order. But it had agreed to hear their plea to extend the schedule from the original due date of Jan. 24.The latest setback now leaves few options for Vodafone Idea, which needs to pay $4 billion, the highest among its peers, even as it struggles to stem record losses and rein in net debt that has ballooned to $14 billion. Highlighting its dire finances, Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla said in December that the firm may be headed toward insolvency in the absence of any relief.With U.K.-based Vodafone having signaled it isn’t likely to plow any more money into the venture in which it holds 45%, it falls on the Indian partner and billionaire Birla to chart a future course for the teetering operator. “It doesn’t make sense to put good money after bad,” Birla said Dec. 6.A collapse of the nation’s second-biggest wireless operator and the accompanying job losses would be another embarrassment for Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who rode to power promising employment opportunities for the country’s youth. On Modi’s watch, Jet Airways India Ltd. grounded its planes last year after buckling under debt. The airline, once the nation’s largest, is now facing bankruptcy.Vodafone Idea’s woes highlight the struggle Indian telecommunications companies have faced in a market plagued by high spectrum and license fees, frequent policy flip-flops and endless tax demands.As more than a dozen operators jostled for a slice of the world’s second-biggest market by subscribers, frequent price wars weighed on the earnings of companies that were spending billions of dollars on their networks.In 2016, the entry of billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd. pushed others to the edge. Jio’s free calls and cheap data forced two into bankruptcy, prompted some -- like Vodafone and Idea -- to merge and many to pack up. Two non-state carriers -- Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea -- survived the war, while Jio came out on top.Vodafone Idea has been losing millions of subscribers to Jio, which racked up more than 370 million users in about three years.Even if Birla decides to revive Vodafone Idea, getting the capital to claw back those users who left for Jio will be a hurdle.“The challenge is where will the money come from to survive and expand,” said Neerav Dalal, an analyst at Kim Eng Securities Pvt. in Mumbai. “They’ve got to think something out of the box to come out of this.”Shares of Vodafone Idea sank as much as 12% on Friday, extending their losses in the past year to 78%. Bharti’s shares declined as much as 1%.The dispute between the government and the operators over the calculation of fees has meandered through India’s legal system for years. The court decided to reject the pleas for extra time despite the Modi administration’s willingness to negotiate the terms of payment in the wake of Birla’s warning.Stripping out interest from the dues or a staggered payment are some ideas the government can discuss, an official with knowledge of the matter said last month, asking not to be identified citing rules.Facing a bill of $3 billion, Bharti Airtel sold shares and convertible bonds to help raise the amount last month. Although Bharti Airtel -- which counts Singapore Telecommunications Ltd. among its main investors -- is also weighed down by net debt of almost $16 billion, investors are betting on better prospects for recovery in a market left with fewer carriers after the consolidation.(Adds detail throughout)\--With assistance from P R Sanjai.To contact the reporters on this story: Upmanyu Trivedi in New Delhi at utrivedi2@bloomberg.net;Ragini Saxena in Mumbai at rsaxena30@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sam Nagarajan at samnagarajan@bloomberg.net, Jeanette Rodrigues, Bhuma ShrivastavaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Reuters

    Missed call? Counting the cost of no-show Mobile World Congress

    For an event meant to showcase the power of telecoms, cancelling this year's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona without a back-up plan has perplexed many in the trillion-dollar sector. Wednesday's decision to call off the telecoms industry's biggest annual gathering over fears of coronavirus, which has yet to reach mainland Spain, has left a hole in marketing budgets and dealt a $500 million blow to the local economy. Sony and Nokia said after pulling out of the event that they would hold product launches online instead, while South Korea's Samsung Electronics showcased a new folding phone at separate event in San Francisco last week.

  • Vodafone's India venture reports sixth straight quarterly loss
    Reuters

    Vodafone's India venture reports sixth straight quarterly loss

    Vodafone Idea Ltd reported a third-quarter loss on Thursday, as the troubled Indian telecom company shed millions of mobile subscribers due to intense competition. The quarterly results come as Vodafone Idea and other Indian telecom firms are pressured by government demands to pay $13 billion in overdue levies in a long-contested dispute. Indian telecom carriers have increased prices in response and Vodafone Idea, which owes at least $4 billion in dues, has sought a "modification" of India's top court's October ruling which upheld the government's demand.

  • Reuters

    Mobile World Congress cancellation "not about money" - host GSMA

    The decision to cancel a major telecoms conference in Barcelona slated for later this month after mass withdrawals due to fears over a coronavirus outbreak was motivated only by a desire to protect people's health and safety, organisers said on Thursday. "This is not about money - it's about health and safety and the reputation of our show," Mats Granryd, director general of the GSMA telecoms association that hosts the event told a news conference the day after announcing its cancellation.

  • Benzinga

    $10B Vodafone-TPG Merger Approved In Australia

    TPG Telecom Ltd. and Vodafone Hutchison Australia Ltd. merger have gotten the go-ahead  from a court in Australia. What Happened The merger between TPG Telecom and Vodafone Group Plc’s  (NASDAQ: VOD ) ...

  • Australia court approves $10 billion Vodafone-TPG merger, overrules regulator
    Reuters

    Australia court approves $10 billion Vodafone-TPG merger, overrules regulator

    An Australian court approved a A$15 billion ($10.1 billion) merger between a unit of Britain's Vodafone Group and internet provider TPG Telecom on Thursday, overruling a regulator and enabling a huge rival to the country's top telcos. A Federal Court judge said a tie-up between Vodafone's joint venture with local telco Hutchison Telecommunications (Australia) Ltd and TPG would not harm competition, rejecting the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission's (ACCC) reason for blocking the deal last year.

  • Financial Times

    Australian court overturns regulator’s block on telecoms merger

    a decision by competition regulators to block the deal. The ruling marks a victory for both operators, which have struggled to compete in Australia’s concentrated mobile market, where larger rivals Telstra and Optus hold more than 80 per cent of the market. It should also help UK-based Vodafone’s long-term strategy to unwind its global empire by merging or selling off local networks and investing in cable assets in Europe.

  • Mobile World Congress Canceled Due to Coronavirus Concerns
    Bloomberg

    Mobile World Congress Canceled Due to Coronavirus Concerns

    (Bloomberg) -- The wireless industry scrapped its biggest annual showcase after the coronavirus outbreak sparked an exodus of participants, roiling telecom companies just as they’re preparing to roll out new 5G services.It’s the first time in MWC Barcelona’s 33-year history that organizers have called off the event, which draws more than 100,000 participants from across the world to check out the latest innovations, pitch to investors and do deals.“The global concern regarding the coronavirus outbreak, travel concern and other circumstances, make it impossible” to hold the event, John Hoffman, chief executive officer of conference organizer GSMA, said in a statement to Bloomberg News.The list of big-name attendees started to crumble on Feb. 7, when Swedish wireless equipment maker Ericsson AB pulled out, saying it couldn’t ensure the safety of staff and customers. As others pulled the plug -- from Sony Corp. to Nokia Oyj, Vodafone Group Plc and Deutsche Telekom AG -- it became harder for those remaining to justify their presence.Bloomberg News reported earlier that GSMA could announce the cancellation as soon as Wednesday, after a meeting of members. As of Tuesday, the death toll in China from the virus rose to 1,113, and confirmed cases on the mainland have reached 44,653.MWC was due to run from Feb. 24 to Feb. 27. GSMA had stepped up sanitary precautions to reassure visitors -- advising against handshakes, introducing body temperature scanners and a protocol for changing microphones, and restricting entry to recent arrivals from China.​ Some delegations had replaced Chinese staff with colleagues from other countries or sent their China representatives ahead of time to avoid being barred.Who’ll Pay?Every year, telecom heavyweights use MWC and the oceans of publicity that come with it to generate marketing buzz around their latest wares. A big focus this year was going to be fifth-generation mobile services, and now several companies will need to reschedule launch events. Chipmaking giant Intel had planned to announce products for 5G networks and will hold an unveiling another time, according to a person familiar with its plans. Motorola was gearing up to showcase new 5G phones.The smartphone industry is trying to fire up stalled growth with the promise of higher data speeds and faster responsiveness. Smartphone shipments have been declining since 2016.The decision to scrap MWC entirely was a difficult one, and it’s not clear who will shoulder the costs -- the participants or GSMA. The industry’s biggest players often spend tens of millions of dollars to exhibit at the show. Ericsson’s absence alone left a gap bigger than a standard American football field in the conference halls.GSMA funds much of its budget from the event, charging 799 euros ($872) for a basic admissions pass.BarcelonaMWC is also important to the city of Barcelona, Spain’s second-largest city, as well as to many of the smaller companies that wouldn’t otherwise have access to such a large audience of mobile carriers and consumers. Large national contingents from Turkey to South Korea take to the show to encourage deal-making and inward investment.The regional government of Catalonia had been in touch with the conference organizers and said it saw no need to cancel events like MWC, Alba Verges, head of the Catalan government health department, said at a press conference in Barcelona.South Korea’s LG Electronics Inc. was among the first to rethink its participation, pointing out last week that most health experts had advised against “needlessly” exposing hundreds of employees to international travel.The global spread of the coronavirus has decimated other conferences, like Singapore’s annual airshow, which lost scores of corporate attendees but went ahead as planned on a smaller scale. Formula One confirmed it is postponing this year’s Chinese Grand Prix racing event due to the coronavirus outbreak, the Liberty Media Corp.-owned firm said in a Twitter post on Wednesday.(Updates with information on abandoned product launches by Intel and Motorola in seventh paragraph.)\--With assistance from Thomas Seal, Niveditha Ravi, Saritha Rai, Debby Wu, Ian King, Gao Yuan, Mark Gurman, Scott Moritz, Rodrigo Orihuela, Angelina Rascouet and Loni Prinsloo.To contact the reporter on this story: Nate Lanxon in London at nlanxon@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net, Rob GolumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.