Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Idea to take 3G to 200 towns of AP by fiscal end

Idea Cellular, the country’s third largest mobile operator, today launched its 3G services in 14 towns in Andhra Pradesh including Hyderabad, Vijayawada and Visakhapatnam, with plans to cover 200 towns in the state by the end of the current financial year.
Andhra Pradesh, with 8.5 million subscribers in 17,200 towns and villages, accounts for 10 per cent (Rs 1,600 crore) of the total revenues of Idea Cellular. The company has 6,500 cell sites in the state and plans to increase it substantially in the coming months, Subbaraman Iyer, chief operating officer (Hyderabad circle), told mediapersons here on Tuesday.

Stating that mobile data was the next growth area as voice revenue growth was flattening, deputy managing director Ambrish P Jain said 28 per cent of the entire telecom revenues came from broadband globally, which was expected to touch 33 per cent by 2013.

“Indian data ARPU (average revenue per user) is one of the lowest in the world at $0.03, as against an ARPU of $4 in the developed world. There is a high potential for data ARPU growth,” he said, adding that data currently accounted for 4 per cent of Idea’s revenues and its ARPU was between Rs 170 and Rs 250 depending on the circle.
Jain said the company was present in 11 circles now and intended to go pan-India with 3G, including in Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab, through strategic alliances by the end of this financial year.
“Currently, 10 per cent of our over 89 million subscribers nationally are using 3G-enabled handsets. There will be upgradation of handsets from time to time and we are in talks with mobile manufacturers to launch 3G handsets through combo offers,” he said while declining to draw any time line.
Replying to a query on mobile number portability (MNP), Jain said MNP had been very positive for Idea and the company had gained to the tune of 400,000 subscribers nationally.source

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