Chennai: Tata Teleservices Limited has drawn out plans to invest around Rs4,000 crore in network expansion and entering new states. The company plans to start the investment before the end of this year.
"We have applied for licence to start our service in Assam, Jammu and Kashmir and North East regions. Further we will be expanding our presence from 3,200 towns to 4, 000 towns this year. The plan is to cover 5,000 towns by the end of next fiscal," said CEO Darryl Green.
According to him the company has received request for proposals (RFP) from hardware vendors to supply the required hardware and shortly a decision would be taken.
It was in January 2005 the CDMA technology telecom service provider acquired a pan India presence. Present in 20 circles Tata Teleservices has increased its subscriber base to 13 million from 3 million at the beginning of 2005.
Out of the total subscriber base nearly seven million comprises mobile subscribers and the remaining are fixed wireless users. "The blended -mobile and fixed wireless service-average revenue per user (ARPU) is around Rs370 per month."
According to him within the company's mobile subscriber base 15 per cent are post paid and 85 per cent are prepaid subscribers. Nearly 90 per cent of the company's new clients are prepaid subscribers. Green does not agree that the ARPU in the case of post-paid subscribers are better than prepaid subscribers
Speaking about the additions to the company's subscriber base he said, "In some markets like Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Rajasthan, the net addition to our subscriber base is good. In some states we get nearly 20 per cent of the new mobile phone users. But in some states like Tamil Nadu it is not very satisfactory."
The company has initiated moves to revive its fortunes in Tamil Nadu. The company lost custom not only due to better offers from competition but also owing to its bad service and customer response.
"All those things are now past," assures the new circle operations officer Ravinder Taneja.
In Tamil Nadu the company has 7.25 lakh subscribers. "Since April 2006 we get 10 per cent of the new additions to the mobile phone subscribers. A year ago we used to get only 3 per cent of the new mobile subscribers. The subscriber churn is also coming down," claims Green.
Part of the revival strategy is the launch of new scheme Tata Indicom Rhythm. The package includes a Huawei make FM handset at Rs1,799 with double talk time benefits.
According to Guo Ping, executive vice president & President, Huawei Terminals Business, around half a million handsets will be initially supplied to Tata Teleservices.