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Vodafone deal will create largest Indian group

Vodafone has unveiled plans to merge its Indian unit with rival Idea Cellular in a deal that will create the country’s leading player with almost 400 million customers. The deal appears to make strategic sense.

The combination of Vodafone India with Idea Cellular will form a business valued at more than $23bn. The Indian telecoms market is becoming more competitive after Reliance Jio made a move into the market last September. The company is a wholly-owned subsidiary of conglomerate Reliance Industries and its aggressive pricing moves, such as free calls and data, helped it to cross 50 million subscribers in just 83 days since its launch. It now has more than 100 million clients and is owned by the country's richest man, Mukesh Ambani.

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