Tata DOCOMO, the first private telecom operator to launch third-generation (3G) services, on Thursday said these were being used by 15 per cent of its data users.
Deepak Gulati, executive president-mobility business of Tata Teleservices, said the company was the largest private sector operator in Indian 3G. He, however, did not mention the number of subscribers on 3G or the total number of Tata DOCOMO’s data users.
Tata Teleservices has a subscriber base of 88 million, which includes GSM (Tata DOCOMO) and CDMA subscribers. However as a norm, dual technology operators do not give a break-up of their subscriber base. “We launched much earlier than others. We already have 100 towns on 3G and a large coverage, and are expanding very fast,” said Gulati. The company launched 3G services last November.
The government companies, BSNL and MTNL, launched 3G in 2009. Reliance Communications, Bharti Airtel and Aircel did so in the past two quarters. Bharti Airtel said it has around 600,000 subscribers who’d opted for their 3G services.
Tata says the launch of 3G has already done wonders for non-voice revenues, as the usage of data by their subscribers has gone up. “We are seeing a 30-50 per cent increase in data volumes on a month-to-month basis. And, every month, the adoption rate is increasing,” said Gulati.
The company’s non-voice revenues currently contribute 13 per cent of its total revenues.
Tata paid Rs 5,864 crore to obtain spectrum in nine circles — Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, UP (West), Punjab and Haryana. It has planned to forge partnerships with other telecom operators to offer the 3G service seamlessly across the country.
Tata on Thursday also announced it was extending its offer with the Future Group chain to Maharashtra and Mumbai circle, where subscribers would get free talk time with purchases from the latter’s retail chain. The company has already launched these services in 16 telecom circles.source