Idea Cellular, the country's third largest mobile operator, has launched 3G services in Punjab. With the rollout, the GSM operator's services now cover 28 Indian states, with its own network set up across 13 large states, and through Intra Circle Roaming (ICR) agreements in the rest of the country.
The services will be launched starting with the capital city of Chandigarh, to the progressive and agricultural belts of Nawanshahr, Jagraon, Malerkotla and Nabha and the industrial hub of Ludhiana. Idea's 3G network will grow to cover 170 towns across the state with 1800 3G cell sites by FY15-end.
''Having witnessed consistent growth over the last five years, Idea is now well poised for the next wave of mobile broadband revolution, and has been investing in spectrum acquisition, network expansion, enhancing sales and service delivery channels, to proliferate mobile data services across the country,'' said P Lakshminarayana, Chief Operating Officer (Corporate) at Idea Cellular.
''Our recent spectrum win in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz band has now given us the ability to further expand our 3G network, and launch 4G services in key revenue markets including Punjab, at an appropriate juncture,'' he added.
Idea has a revenue market share of 21.3 per cent as of the third quarter of the financial year 2014. With a network footprint of 4,553 sites, the company offers 2G coverage across 227 towns and 12,103 villages in Punjab. It also has the ability to launch 4G services.
Idea's 3G services will offer streaming audio and video files, access to social networking networking sites, watch movies and mobile TV and play HD games, said Sudhir Pradhan, Chief Operating Officer (Punjab, J&K and HP) at Idea Cellular.
Idea's 3G tariff plans in Punjab are priced at Rs 19 for 80MB data valid for two days, to Rs 56 for 200MB for seven days, and Rs 98 for 300MB valid for 28 days. It also has unlimited 3G plans starting from Rs 645 for uninterrupted data services for heavy data consumers.
Idea will also introduce a range of affordable 3G devices such as high speed 3G NetSetter, Netsmart Wi-fi Dongles and Smartphones in the Punjab market.
Idea Cellular, with more than 137 million subscribers and traffic in excess of 1.75 billion minutes a day, ranks among the top 10 operators in the world.