Indian telecom operator Idea Cellular is gearing up to launch 4G LTE services on 1800 MHz spectrum band in 10 circles in 2016.
Idea Cellular, an Aditya Birla group firm, has 1800 MHz spectrum in Kerala (10 MHz), Maharashtra & Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, Punjab, Haryana, North East, Tamil Nadu and Orissa (5MHz each).
The 4G launch will be in a phased manner from calendar year 2016 onwards. The strategy is to tap 2G, 3G and now 4G users to become a strong telecom operator in the evolving digital space.
Mukesh Ambani-promoted Reliance Jio Infocomm is also planning to launch its 4G broadband services in December 2015. Airtel is currently the only 4G operator in India.
Idea Cellular is also in the process of revisiting its existing Value Added Services offering and intends to introduce its own range of Digital Services across categories like entertainment, information, communication, utilities and API services etc. in next financial year.
Idea Cellular said it added 3,208 2G sites, 3,330 3G sites and nearly 1,700 km of OFC network during the first quarter of fiscal 2016.
Idea covers nearly 80 percent of Indian population at 950 million for GSM services and 275 million Indian population on own spectrum 3G services.
The Capex (capital spending) of Idea Cellular was Rs 13,674 million during Q1 FY 2016 – primarily for boosting voice and data business.