By Agence France-Presse British mobile phone giant Vodafone’s Indian unit will merge with Idea Cellular to create India’s largest telecoms operator, the firms said Monday, as they combine to fight the rise of Reliance Jio. “Vodafone Group Plc and Idea Cellular today announced that they have reached an agreement to combine their operations in India,” they said in a statement to the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE). “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,” the statement added. The confirmation ended months of speculation that the two operators were ready to sign a deal to help fend off Reliance Jio, whose recent arrival has shaken up India’s ultra-competitive mobile network market. Reliance Jio is owned by India’s richest man Mukesh Ambani and has sparked a rush towards consolidation in the market since starting operations 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. It forced rivals to dramatically slash their tariffs and left them scrambling to match the deep pockets… Read full this story
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