Monday, January 24, 2011

3G service to cover all circles by March 2012 -Bharti Airtel

Airtel 3G 
Bharti Airtel plans to take third-generation services to 1,500 cities across India by the end of March 2012.

The company, which has 3G licences for 13 circles, is also in talks with other service providers to roll out the services in the remaining 10 circles as part of its roaming offerings.

Atul Bindal, president for mobile services, Bharti Airtel  said, "We are in touch with other operators for 3G alliances outside our licenced zones."

But he declined to divulge the names and the partnership models. He said the company would initially launch the service in its 13 3G licence circles by March 2011.

Vineet Taneja, operation director, south, said, "We are in active discussions with various service providers in some circles and the terms of agreement are in their active closure stage.

The availability of spectrum with our partner to share is the main problem in most circles."

The company, which has operations in more than 19 countries across Asia and Africa, believes the new data services will help to stabilise its profit and average revenue per user.

"We expect ARPUs to definitely stabilise to a much greater extent than they would have otherwise done, for the very simple reason that there would be an explosion in terms of new products and services on the non-voice side," said Bindal.

The company on Monday launched 3G services in India in Bengaluru

The Karnataka  circle contributes the largest chunk of Airtel's revenue and is its largest circle by operation. With more than 15 million customers, Airtel has more than 50 per cent of the Karnataka market.

"Through 3G service and the recent roll-out of mobile number portability, we believe that a significant number of high value users and data users from our competitors will move to Airtel," said V Venkatesh, CEO, Karnataka circle, Airtel.

Asked about the security concerns on video calls, he said they had solutions to address the issues. He said, "The government has given us six months time till July and when they go for scrutiny, we will demonstrate the same."

"The entry of 3G to rural markets of Karnataka will take some time.

"It is a matter of prioritising. We are planning to take 3G experience to all our customers in 11 towns in Karnataka by the end of March 2011."source

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