Vodafone Idea earmarked INR500 billion ($6 billion) to INR550 billion in capex over next three years to launch 5G in key cities and expand 4G population coverage in 17 areas following securing funding from major investors.

In an earnings statement, CEO Akshaya Moondra noted it reported annual revenue growth for a second consecutive year, adding the company registered growth in ARPU and 4G subscribers for 11 successive quarters.

Moondra stated the INR215 billion in recently raised funds will enable it to “kickstart the investment cycle” to expand 4G coverage as well as launch 5G services. LTE spending will focus on upgrading its core and transmission network as well as by refarming 2G and 3G spectrum to 4G.

Despite significantly lower investments, net loss in fiscal Q4 (calendar Q1) widened nearly 20 per cent to INR76.7 billion, impacted by 27.3 per cent higher interest and financing costs. Operating revenue was mostly flat at INR106.1 billion.

The operator lost another 13.3 million mobile subscribers from a year earlier, ending March with 212.6 million. LTE users rose 3 per cent to 126.3 million. ARPU increased 8.1 per cent INR146.

Full-year capex dropped to INR18.5 billion from INR33.6 in fiscal 2023. Capex in fiscal Q4 was INR5.5 billion.

The number of towers was stable at about 170,500, while broadband sites declined by 2.9 per cent to 430,705.