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Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Aircel launches 3G services; soon to roll out in 11 circles


Aircel will invest nearly Rs 23,000 crore in 3G and 2G operations in the next 3-4 years. This will take the company's cumulative investment in India by then to around Rs 45,000 crore or $10 billion, according to the company's Chief Operating Officer, Mr Gurdeep Singh.
Launching Aircel's 3G services, Mr Singh said the youth comprise over 50 per cent of the country's population and are among active Internet users and also avid users of Facebook, YouTube and other social networking sites. This service will address the high speed digital needs of such consumers with the power of the Internet creating new opportunities in sectors such as education, entertainment and employment.
After Chennai, Aircel will roll out the 3G services in 11 telecom circles, excluding Punjab and West Bengal, in the next one week. It will cover all of its 13 circles with 3G network by mid-March, he said.
Aircel, a part of Malaysia's Maxis Communications, has bagged 3G spectrum for 13 telecom circles. Mr Singh said the ‘value added service' (VAS) and ‘data' will drive the growth of 3G in the country. At present, revenue from VAS and data is only 10 per cent in India, while in other developed countries it is nearly 40 per cent.
The company has tied up with Samsung, BlackBerry, Dell and Nokia for ‘smart' mobile devices with 3G compatibility. The base rate will be 3 paise per 10KB. At an inclusive price of Rs 132, Rs 252, Rs 502 and Rs 802, consumers can have 75 MB, 150 MB, 350 MB and 1024 MB data, respectively, a month with in-built voice and SMS, he said.
Mr Singh said in the next five years nearly 35 per cent of Aircel's customers would be using 3G services. Aircel has a subscriber base of around 50 million subscribers.source

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