Aircel VP – data and devices Sunil Kuttam on mobile Internet strategies

Telecom service provider Aircel has outlined its mobile data and Internet strategy. Aircel VP – data and devices Sunil Kuttam says its strategies are aimed at enhancing its 2G and 3G data presence in India.

The pioneer of Pocket Internet concept in India, Aircel says it is keeping substantial portion of its Capex (capital expenditure) on mobile data business.

Currently, Aircel, a part of the Malaysian telecom giant Maxis, has 10,000 3G sites across 13 sites. Telecom sites are growing at 5 percent by per month.

Aircel, which competes with Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications, Vodafone India, Tata Teleservices, etc., has 1.5 million active 3G data users and 15 million 2G data users in the country.

According to research reports, mobile Internet users will grow by 90 million in 2014 and additional 70 million in 2015 from 180 million at present. This means, India will have around 350 million data users by 2015. “We want to grab major market share and hence our focus is on mobile Internet in India,” Sunil said.

At present, 3G data contributes 40 percent of Aircel’s data revenue, while the balance 60 percent comes from 2G data. This will change over a period of time. Aircel saw doubling of data usage in the last 12 months.

Aircel 3G network, which is available currently available in 110 towns, is undergoing a major upgradation project. The network upgrade will be completed before 30 November. This will help the telecom services to gain more market share in both 2G and 3G data business. Its recent tie up with Micromax is aimed at enhancing data usage, said Yogesh Chauhan, head – mobile Internet and 3G marketing.

Mobile data contributes around 10-12 percent revenue to Aircel. “Our aim is optimize network and improve mobile Internet experience. 50 percent of our channels are dedicated towards mobile data business.

Aircel, which has a tie-up with Ozone and Spectranet, will focus on Wi-Fi roll outs from next year.

The telecom giant is doing lots of free mobile data sampling in North East to create awareness about the scope of 2G and 3G data. This is much beyond setting up mobile Internet experience centers in selects pockets.

To enhance 3G experience, Aircel will have branded smartphones and content agreements shortly. The company is also considering mobile advertisement as a focus area.

Baburajan K
editor@telecomlead.com