Idea Cellular, the country's third-largest mobile operator by subscribers and revenue, has launched 4G LTE services in 28 towns across Maharashtra & Goa, including major towns of Nagpur and Ahmednagar.
Starting 23 December 2015, Idea Cellular began rolling out its 4G LTE services in four circles in the south (Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu & Chennai). The three major circles in north (Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Haryana followed in February, and then to two other circles Orissa and North East.
At present, available in more than 300 towns, Idea aims to cover more than 550 towns in these 10 circles and extend the 4G footprint to over 750 towns by June 2016.
''Beginning December 23, we have rapidly expanded our 4G LTE services in these 10 markets in a record time frame of just three months. We have revised our capex guidance for financial year 2016 from Rs65 billion (Rs6,500 crore) to Rs75 billion mainly on account of accelerated 4G capex and associated fibre rollout and are fully geared up now to grow our presence, strengthen our portfolio and make more people join the digital bandwagon,'' said Ambrish Jain, deputy managing director, Idea Cellular.
Idea has an overall revenue market share of 18.9 per cent as of 3Q16 report of TRAI.
Idea has 6.1 million 4G devices, nearly 6 per cent of its subscriber base in these 10 telecom service areas, registered on its network. In comparison, on an All India basis, Idea has nearly 48.6 million customers owning 3G devices and over 9.8 million customers with 4G devices.
''We have taken a holistic approach in order to increase the uptake of this high speed mobile data offering called 4G LTE. Partnerships with leading content aggregators, smartphone vendors, Ecommerce biggies and the launch of our customized 4G website is our first step ahead in the direction of augmenting the usage of mobile data services. With the rapid expansion currently taking place, we will soon be rolling out a nation-wide, 360 degree 4G marketing campaign to up the level of engagement with the target group,'' said Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular.