New Delhi, Mar 20 : : Idea Cellular, the third largest mobile operator in India and the Indian unit of British telecom company Vodafone on Monday announced a merger, creating the country's largest telecom operator in the face of the growing might of Reliance Communications' Jio, reports said.
At present, Vodaphone is the second largest telecom operator in India, a slot behind Bharti Airtel.
The new entity will boast of around 40 crore customers or nearly one in every three customers in the country.
The combined entity of Aditya Birla groups Idea Cellular and Vodafone India will also have pan-India 3G/4G footprint, the companies said in a statement.
Vodafone will own 45.1 per cent of the merged entity, after it transfers about 4.9 per cent to promoters of Idea and/or their affiliates for Rs 38.74 billion ($592.15 million) in cash, Idea said.