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?3 private players offer ideal, healthy competition: Vodafone Idea CEO

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Idea, which is in the midst of Rs 25,000 crore mega fund-raising, has said the Indian telecom market with three private players is an "ideal scenario" in terms of healthy competition, dismissing any possibility of cartelisation or

"It is three private players plus one (BSNL and MTNL) and that is the ideal scenario to be. There are four players is an ideal level of competition," Balesh Sharma, of Idea told PTI.

Worldwide, markets with three private players are known to be markets where constantly there is an ongoing war but a healthy level of competition exists, he added.

Sharma said a market with three strong players almost equal to each other "is an ideal place to be" as "they all want to become bigger and are fighting with each other".

"There is absolutely no concern for also...because I believe in a democracy all policy makers, politicians, and everyone understands that for consumers' rights there needs to be at least three strong private players and hoping that the also continues to be in that...," Sharma said.

Such a scenario will keep the competition level at an "optimal", he noted.

The telecom sector has witnessed a spate of consolidation aimed at finding economies of scale after stormed into the market ploughing in billions of dollars into a pan-national 4G data service, offering free voice call and tariffs well below prevailing rates.

This triggered a massive consolidation in the industry. Bharti Airtel, then number one operator, fired the starting gun with the acquisition of the Indian business of Norway-based

It also subsequently announced takeover of consumer mobile businesses of (TTSL) and Tata Teleservices Maharastra Ltd (TTML).

Last year, Idea Cellular and Plc announced completion of the USD 23.2 billion (approximately Rs 1.6 lakh crore) merger of their operations to create the country's largest -- -- to take on competition from

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, April 16 2019. 17:05 IST