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Vodafone Idea prepares Rs 25,000-cr war chest to fight Mukesh Ambani

Jio stormed into the world's second-largest phone market in 2016 by offering free wireless services for months

PR Sanjai & Anto Antony | Bloomberg 

The immediate priority of the merged entity will be to consolidate its position across the range of service offerings

Ltd. plans to raise as much as 25,000-crore rupees ($3.5 billion) via a rights offering to help India’s largest mobile-phone carrier fend off Asia’s richest man, who continues to roil the industry by providing 4G Internet at prices that would drive most carriers bankrupt in other countries.

will contribute as much as 11,000 crore rupees, while India’s will pump in as much as 7250 crore rupees, according to a statement on Wednesday.

The plan underscores how Indian carriers have yet to figure out how to compete against billionaire Mukesh Ambani’s Infocomm Ltd., which offers packages with enough data to watch 46 hours of YouTube videos for about $2 a month. itself was formed last year after a couple of the industry’s biggest players merged to create an operator big enough to withstand Jio’s low prices.

ALSO READ: Voda Idea seeks 2-year moratorium for paying Rs 10,000 cr spectrum charge

Separately, is also planning to sell its 11.5 per cent stake in , a cell-phone tower company it jointly owns with Bharti Infratel Ltd and

Jio stormed into the world’s second-largest phone market in 2016 by offering free wireless services for months. Today, the company has already signed up 28 crore subscribers and turned profitable -- even bringing connectivity to remote Indian villages.

First Published: Wed, January 23 2019. 16:28 IST