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LON100:VOD, Oct 30, 03:45 UTC

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Sunday, October 18


News

Active users' tally: Jio gains 2.5 mn subscribers in July as Airtel, Vodafone Idea slip

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Active subscribers are calculated based on reported Visitor Location Register (VLR), a key metric reflecting the number of active users on a mobile network. Reliance Jio gained 2.5 million active subscribers in July, reversing the decline seen in the previous month, while rivals Airtel and Vodafone Idea lost 0.4 million and 3.8 million active users respectively, latest reports based on TRAI data said. Although industry's overall wireless subscribers rose nearly 3.5 million in July -- the first month of such gains since February -- the total `active subscribers' count in July actually fell 2.1 million, as per TRAI data. Although industry's overall wireless subscribers rose nearly 3.5 million in July -- the first month of such gains since February -- the total `active subscribers' count in July actually fell 2.1 million, as per TRAI data. In an earlier report, Axis Capital had attributed Jio's lower active user ratio to multi factors such as data-only subscribers being higher on the network (meaning devices may be closed at the time of collection of data), rural users of JioPhone switching off devices at particular times, and its "conservative churn policy". Overall, Jio added 3.5 million wireless subscribers to surge past the 400 million mark, and continues to lead with highest monthly net adds among telcos.

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Thursday, October 15


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Vodafone may shun Portugal 5G auction unless 'illegal' rules are changed

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LISBON (Reuters) - Vodafone may shun Portugal's planned auction of 5G frequency licences unless the regulator changes its proposed rules, which Vodafone Cluster Europe CEO labelled on Thursday as illegal and discriminatory against established players. The regulator ANACOM, which hopes to relaunch the auction this month after delays due to the coronavirus pandemic, has reserved a preferential spectrum in the 900 MHz and 1,800 Mhz bands for new entrants, with a 25% discount on the final auction price. Serpil Timuray told Reuters that Vodafone, which invested 1.6 billion euros ($1.9 billion) in Portugal in the last six years, would also have to reconsider plans to establish a pan-European research and development centre in Portugal if the regulator followed through with the auction rules. "There is significant and unjustified discrimination against long-standing operators and we are obliged to reconsider all of our options in Portugal, including bidding for less spectrum or not bidding, if the auction is so flawed," Timuray said.

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Tuesday, October 13


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Government yet to take any decision on Vodafone tax arbitration case

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ruled that the Indian government seeking Rs 22,100 crore in taxes from telecom giant Vodafone using retrospective legislation was in "breach of the guarantee of fair and equitable treatment" guaranteed under the bilateral investment protection pact between India and the Netherlands. According to sources, the government has not taken a call on challenging the award yet. While the cost implication in the case is limited to having to pay Rs 85 crore to Vodafone in legal cost, what is weighing on the government mind is a separate arbitration involving UK's Cairn Energy plc. If a separate arbitration panel were to hold a demand for Rs 10,247 crore in taxes using the same retrospective legislation as illegal, the government will have to pay Cairn as much as $1.5 billion (Rs 11,000 crore). This is the amount equivalent to the value of shares of Cairn that the government had sold to recover a part of the tax demand. Retail inflation rose to an eight-month high of 7.34 per cent in September over rising prices of essential kitchen items, government data showed on Monday, making the Reserve Bank of India's task to push growth by reducing the interest rate even more difficult in the coming days.

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Sunday, October 04


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Vodafone: Govt weighs legal options in Vodafone tax arbitration case, Telecom News, ET Telecom

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Finance Ministry sources said the government will decide on challenging the award before a court in Singapore - which was the seat of the arbitration, after taking legal opinion. While the cost implication in the case is limited to having to pay Rs 85 crore to Vodafone in legal cost, what is weighing on the government mind is a separate arbitration involving UK's Cairn Energy plc. If a separate arbitration panel were to hold a demand for Rs 10,247 crore in taxes using the same retrospective legislation as illegal, the government will have to pay Cairn as much as USD 1.5 billion (Rs 11,000 crore). It also includes the dividends and tax refund seized. Sources said Vodafone International Holding (a Netherland company) had in February 2007 bought 100 per cent shares of Cayman Island-based company CGP Investments for USD 11.1 billion to indirectly get 67 per cent control of Hutchison Essar Ltd - an Indian company. The tax demand on Cairn Energy, they said, is different as it pertains to alleged capital gains the firm made on transfer of Indian assets to a new company and listing it on bourses. "In circumstances such as when the Permanent Court of Arbitration gives a decree in favour of Cairn, the government of India still has the option to procure the desired retrospective taxes via grounds such that taxation is not covered under any bilateral investment protection treaty and as such cannot be arbitrated. It is challenging the jurisdiction of such panels to adjudicate on a tax matter," she said.

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Saturday, September 26


News

Vodafone: India asked to pay Rs 40 crores, not Rs 20,000 crores to Vodafone Group: Govt sources, Telecom News, ET Telecom

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New Delhi : After UK telecom major Vodafone Group won an international arbitration against India, the central government has been asked to pay only Rs 40 crores to the telecom giant, government sources said on Friday. Sources said that there is a wrong impression that the government will have to return Rs 20,000 crores because of the award in the arbitration case invoked by Vodafone International Holding BV. The Government of India has been asked to pay only 4.3 million pounds or Rs 40 crore which is 60 per cent of the tribunal's administrative cost while the rest 40 per cent of the cost would be borne by Vodafone, sources said. They added that the Government of India may have to refund the tax collected, which is about Rs 45 crores, only if it does not go for appeal against the award. Therefore, the total outgo would be around Rs 85 crores only. Reacting on the news, the Ministry of Finance said that the Government will be studying the award and all its aspects carefully in consultation with its counsels.

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Friday, September 25


News

Vodafone wins international arbitration against India in $2 billion tax case

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NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Vodafone Group Plc <VOD.L> said on Friday it had won an international arbitration case against the Indian government, ending one of the most high-profile disputes in the country involving a $2 billion tax claim. An international arbitration tribunal in The Hague ruled that India's imposition of a tax liability on Vodafone, as well as interest and penalties, were in a breach of an investment treaty agreement between India and the Netherlands, two sources with direct knowledge of the matter said. "The tribunal held that any attempt by India to enforce the tax demand would be a violation of India's international law obligations," Vodafone said in its statement. To reduce future arbitration claims, India has ended such agreements with over 50 countries and is working on a new law to protect foreign investors by offering relief from possible policy changes even as it upholds the right to tax them, Reuters reported.

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Vodafone wins retro tax fight against India; govt estimates Rs 75 cr liability

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Vodafone wins retro tax fight against India; govt estimates Rs 75 cr liability. Vodafone had before the arbitration tribunal challenged India’s usage of a 2012 legislation that gave it powers to retrospectively tax deals like Vodafone’s USD 11 billion acquisition of 67 per cent stake in the mobile phone business owned by Hutchison Whampoa in 2007. It challenged the demand of Rs 7,990 crore in capital gains taxes (Rs 22,100 crore after including interest and penalty) under the Netherlands-India Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT). Sources said the tax demand was on the UK-listed company and Vodafone’s India venture faced no liability. Tax authorities had in September 2007 served notice to Vodafone International Holdings BV (VIHBV) for its alleged failure to deduct withholding tax from consideration paid to the Hutchison Telecommunications International Ltd. Vodafone challenged this in the Supreme Court, which in January 2012 set it aside, saying the transaction was not taxable in India and so the company had no obligation to withhold tax.

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Wednesday, September 16


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Vodafone idea share price: Beyond fundraising, tariff hike-led ARPU improvement must for VIL: Report

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Beyond fundraising, tariff hike-led ARPU improvement must for VIL: Report. "Without the tariff hike/ increase in ARPU, it will be forced to cut its capex, hurting its network quality and marketing expense, making it hard to retain the market share," the report said. While Bharti Airtel is in a position to make payment for AGR (adjusted gross revenue) dues, it favours tariff hike to increase cash flow for debt servicing as well as for capex to make its network 5G-ready, it said. "However, even after fundraising, Vodafone Idea's cashflow situation will be tight and may hinder network investments unless ARPU, led by tariff hikes, jumps to Rs 250," the CLSA report said. The CLSA report observed that apart from the AGR burden, where staggered payments over 10 years have been allowed to telcos, Vodafone Idea has Rs 87,600 crore of spectrum liabilities with a 2-year moratorium on interest and principal payments.

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Monday, September 14


News

Asda Mobile switches from EE to Vodafone

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That's Asda Price: MVNO returns to Vodafone(Image credit: Getty Images). Asda Mobile is switching Mobile Virtual Network Operator (MVNO) suppliers from EE to Vodafone, ending a seven year-association with the BT-owned operator. The supermarket entered the mobile market in 2007, initially partnering with Vodafone before switching to EE in August 2014. This is in contrast to the ‘deep MVNO’ model favoured by the likes of Sky and Virgin Media which provides greater control over the customer experience. Asda Mobile. Under the terms of the five-year agreement, Vodafone will provide Asda Mobile customers with access to its 5G network, Voice-over-Wi-Fi, unlimited data plans and other benefits such as family discounts.

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Monday, September 07


News

Saudi Telecom Seeks to Cut $2.39 Billion Offer for Vodafone Egypt

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Saudi Telecom Seeks to Cut $2.39 Billion Offer for Vodafone Egypt. Saudi Telecom Co. is in discussions to reduce its non-binding $2.39 billion offer for a stake in Vodafone Egypt, two people with direct knowledge of the talks said. The cash offer is for Vodafone’s 55% stake in Vodafone Egypt, the remaining part of which is held by state-owned Telecom Egypt. Spokesmen for Vodafone Group Plc and Vodafone Egypt declined to commentEgyptian market regulations would require Saudi Telecom to submit a mandatory tender offer for all of Vodafone Egypt, including the stake held by Telecom Egypt. For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com.

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