NEW DELHI: Idea Cellular, the country’s third largest telco by subscribers, Thursday expanded its 4G footprint with the launch of services across four more states in India (three telecom circles) – Chhattisgarh, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Punjab.
It had earlier launched services across all five states –Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Tamil Nadu and Telangana–of South India to take on its bigger rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India, which have already launched commercial 4G services.
With this launch, the company now offers services in seven service areas. Idea’s 4G LTE services will be available across 183 towns in these 7 telecom service areas by January 31, 2016, the company said.
The telco has 2.7 million 4G devices, nearly 4% of its subscriber base in these 7 telecom service areas, registered on its network. In comparison, on an all India basis, Idea has nearly 49.5 million customers owning 3G devices and over 6 million customers with 4G devices.
Idea Cellular has also become the first mobile telecom operator to offer latest 4G services in MPCG. Its 4G services will rapidly expand to cover 84 towns by March 2016.
Ambrish Jain, Deputy Managing Director, Idea Cellular said that the company will extend 4G services to 3 more key markets namely, Maharashtra & Goa, North East and Orissa by March 2016. By June 2016, Idea’s 4G footprint will cover 750 cities across 10 telecom circles.
Idea Cellular currently holds 1800 MHz 4G spectrum in these 10 Telecom circles which cover 50% of telecom market but over 60% of Idea’s gross revenue.
Additionally, Idea has recently signed an agreement with Videocon Telecommunications for acquiring ‘Right to Use’ 1800 MHz spectrum under ‘Spectrum Trading Agreement’ in two of its key telecom leadership markets of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh (West). Post completion of this transaction, 4G services will be extended to 12 service areas, covering 75% of Idea’s revenue base in the country.
“Idea customers with 4G devices in these 183 towns can now start experiencing superfast speeds by simply upgrading their existing SIM cards to new 4G SIM cards,” Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular, said.
Idea is deploying ‘Single RAN’ equipment which supports multiple technologies in a given frequency band. It selected Huawei for the deployment of the 4G equipment in Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and Orissa circles, ET earlier reported.