Airtel Plans to Partner with Vodafone Idea in Optical Fibre Space to Take on Reliance Jio: Report


During the Mobile World Congress event in Spain, Barcelona, the founder and chairman of Bharti Airtel, Sunil Mittal, revealed to the reporters that Airtel has invited Vodafone-Idea to join its optical fiber company – Telesonic. When asked about the reaction from Vodafone-Idea, Sunil said that they have received a warm response. According to Sunil Mittal, if Vodafone Idea joins Airtel in the formation of an optical fiber network, it will prevent network duplication and thus save cost for both the companies. When asked if Airtel would invite Jio to this optical fiber collaboration, Sunil said: “From my point of view, more the merrier.” However, he then added, “First let’s get the Vodafone-Idea thing going, then we will see after that.” This announcement from Sunil Mittal comes just after the CEO of Vodafone group Nick Reads said that telecom companies need to collaborate and share network worldwide to offer better coverage and manage costs effectively. If Vodafone Idea joins with Airtel in building an optical fiber network, they’ll be the only major rival to the now emerging, Reliance Jio.

Since the launch of Reliance Jio in India, many older telecom companies have shut down due to huge loses, and the ones remaining like Airtel and Vodafone Idea have taken a major hit in their profits. These companies are suffering from loses and fewer profits because people are moving away from their network to the newly launched Reliance Jio, as it offers cheaper rates along with advanced connectivity features. Experts predict that the remaining older telecom companies will soon shut down as they’ll default on statutory and bank payments. However, Sunil Mittal doesn’t believe so. He said that his company will not only survive, but it will also thrive. According to Sunil Mittal, the government should support the telecom industry, or it will go down just like the aviation sector did. Sunil Mittal believes that the older telecom companies that endure through these tough times might see huge profits in the long run.