Vodafone Idea (Vi) has said that it will be another six to seven months before it launches its 5G services in India.

CEO Akshaya Moondra made the statement during the company's earnings call.

Vodafone Idea
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His comments on a potential 5G rollout, follow recent pressure on the telco to step up its efforts to launch the services.

"Having made large investments and no monetization happening, I think the industry does need to see some movement towards monetization. Let's say if we are launching 5G probably in the next 6-7 months' time then we will have a better idea of what is happening on the monetization front. After funding is there, we will need some time to roll out. Let's say 6-7 months," said Moondra.

As of yet, the telco has not launched 5G, while domestic rivals Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel did so in 2022.

5G services were launched by the country's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2022.

Just last week, India's Department of Telecommunications (DoT) sent notices to Vi asking for an explanation as to why it has failed to meet the minimum rollout obligations stipulated on 5G licenses.

Vi could have to pay Rs 14 crore ($1.6m) in fines as a result. Another network operator, Adani Data Networks, was also sent notices.

During the same earnings call, Moondra noted that Vi will switch off its 3G network next year and reallocate the 2,100 MHz spectrum to its 4G network

The company has faced difficulty for some time, with the debt-laden operator struggling to pay its dues with its vendor partners after it was saved from the brink of collapse by the Indian government last year, which acquired a 35.8 percent stake in the company.

Vi reported a net loss of INR 69.8 billion ($840.1 million) for the quarter ending December 2023, while revenues jumped by just 0.5 percent year on year.