New Vodafone cell phone repairs app to cut greenhouse gas emissions?

Vodafone Group Plc is hoping to put a meaningful dent in its greenhouse gas emissions by getting customers to trade in old cell phones.

| Updated on: Feb 23 2022, 21:59 IST
A traveler stands at a Vodafone kiosk at the international terminal of Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia. (Bloomberg)
A traveler stands at a Vodafone kiosk at the international terminal of Sydney Airport in Sydney, Australia. (Bloomberg)

Vodafone Group Plc is hoping to put a meaningful dent in its greenhouse gas emissions by getting customers to trade in old cell phones in exchange for cash or credit toward a new purchase.

The joint initiative with tech French refurbishment firm Recommerce Group is intended to help Vodafone reach a target of halving its total so-called Scope 3 emissions by 2030. It comes after the Newbury, England-based telecoms giant partnered in 2019 with Fairphone, whose phones are made partly from ethically sourced metals and recycled plastics.

Last year, Vodafone pumped out 9.4 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent, based on Scope 3 estimates. More than 50,000 tons of CO2E could be avoided for every million devices that are refurbished and resold after trade-in, according to the company. If customers keep their cell phone for an extra year, it would reduce Vodafone's global warming potential by up to 29%, it said in a statement on Wednesday. 

The new services, including flexible trade-in options, fast repair and protection against accidental damage, will be available to European customers in the spring, Vodafone said.

UK's Vodafone in talks to sell about 5% stake in Indus Towers to Bharti Airtel: Sources

New Delhi, Feb 23 (PTI) British telecom giant Vodafone is in discussions to sell its about 5 per cent stake in telecom infrastructure company Indus Towers to Bharti Airtel, according to industry sources.

The deal, if it goes through, could be worth over 3,300 crore, they said.

When contacted, Vodafone refused to comment on the matter.

An e-mail sent to Bharti Airtel did not elicit any response.

Industry sources said that UK's Vodafone is in talks to sell its about 5 per cent stake in Indus Towers, valued at over 3,300 crore, to Bharti Airtel.

The proceeds will be pumped into the Indian entity, Vodafone Idea, they said.

Vodafone currently holds about 28 per cent stake in Indus Towers. Bharti Airtel's stake is close to 42 per cent.

Indus Towers Limited (formerly Bharti Infratel Limited) is India's leading provider of passive telecom infrastructure and it deploys, owns and manages telecom towers and communication structures, for various mobile operators.

The company's portfolio of over 184,748 telecom towers, makes it one of the largest tower infrastructure providers in the country with presence in all 22 telecom circles. Indus Towers caters to all wireless telecommunication service providers in India.

Indus Towers had posted about 16 per cent rise in consolidated profit at 1,570.8 crore for December quarter 2021-22.

The company had registered a profit after tax of 1,360 crore for the same period a year ago.

Revenue of the country's largest mobile tower firm was higher at 6,927 crore during the quarter compared to 6,736 crore in the corresponding period of 2020-21.

"Our steady operational and financial performance during the quarter was reassuring. We believe that our focus to promote passive infrastructure sharing and capitalize on adjacencies will help us further strengthen our commitment of Putting India First through connecting lives," its MD and CEO Bimal Dayal had said on Q3 earnings announcement.

Indus Tower merged with Bharti Infratel in November 2020. The company's total mobile tower base increased to 1,84,748 from 1,75,510 on a year-on-year basis.

It may be recalled that the telecom service providers got a shot in the arm with the government, last year, approving a blockbuster relief package that included a four-year break for companies from paying statutory dues, permission to share scarce airwaves, change in the definition of revenue on which levies are paid and 100 per cent foreign investment through the automatic route.

The government also gave telcos the option to convert the interest amount pertaining to the moratorium period into equity.

Following this, debt-ridden Vodafone Idea (VIL) has opted to pay interest of around 16,000 crore through preferential share. This will result in the government holding 35.8 per cent stake in the company.

VIL, last month, reported widening of its consolidated loss to 7,230.9 crore for the third quarter ended December 2021.

The company had posted a loss of 4,532.1 crore in the same period a year ago.

Consolidated revenue from operations declined by 10.8 per cent to 9,717.3 crore from 10,894.1 crore in the corresponding quarter of 2020-21.

VIL's total gross debt, excluding lease liabilities and including interest accrued but not due, as of December 31, 2021, stood at 1,98,980 crore, comprising of deferred spectrum payment obligations of 1,11,300 crore, AGR liability of 64,620 crore that are due to the government and debt from banks and financial institutions of 23,060 crore.

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First Published Date: 23 Feb, 21:55 IST
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