The merger plan of telecom operators Vodafone India and Idea Cellular is in the “final stage of approval”, Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said today. The mega merger has already received the green light from the NCLT and markets regulator SEBI, and according to Sundararajan, the telecom department “is in the process of expediting it”.

She was speaking to reporters on the sidelines of a Cellular Operators’ Association of India (COAI) event catalysing the 5G launch in the country. Last week, Vodafone and Idea announced the leadership team for their soon-to-be-merged entity, with Kumar Mangalam Birla as the non-executive Chairman and Balesh Sharma as the new CEO.

The merger, slated to create India’s largest telecom operator in terms of customer base and revenue market share, is expected to be completed by June this year, subject to statutory approvals, the companies had stated.

5G roadmap by June

India will be ready with a full roadmap for 5G technology by June this year, Sundararajan said. Terming 5G important for India’s massive “digitisation and digitalisation” efforts, Sundararajan said the government is working with all stakeholders, including the industry, academia and start-up community, to become a front-runner in the area of 5G.

“A high-level forum on 5G, which includes global experts, industry experts, IITs and IISc, has already commenced work and done a fair amount of deliberation. By June, India will have a full roadmap ready on this,” she said.

The forum is deliberating on the vision, goals, and roadmap on 5G, and will also look at related areas of spectrum policy, regulatory regime, pilot programmes and the test bed, she added.