Telecom Lead India: Mobile service provider Idea Cellular announced its strategies to strengthen 3G business.
Idea with over 115 million subscribers has been targeting its existing 2G users to upgrade to 3G with its range of smartphones.
Idea Cellular said its strategy to proliferate 3G services into educational, commercial and agricultural sectors, through services, applications and with the sale of smartphones is paying off.
The third largest mobile operator has witnessed rapid uptake of its 3G smartphones, especially in semi-urban and rural markets of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh, etc. It has already sold more than 1.5 lakh handsets.
Idea Cellular is also focusing on apps and content available to its 3G users.
Significant expansion of 3G services is important for India. According to a report in Times of India, India’s 3G/WCDMA connections topped 33 million in the first quarter of 2012, less than 4 percent of the total telecom subscriber base of around 920 million.
Other emerging economies like Brazil and China had a better 3G subscriber base as well as penetration than India. Similar fast-growing economies like Indonesia (11 percent), South Africa (21 percent) and Philippines (11 percent) had better penetration rates too. The data was compiled at the end of the fourth quarter of 2011.
3G will grow as smartphones are witnessing uptake due to their multitasking capabilities and range of applications. While data uptake has witnessed steady growth ever since Idea 3G services were launched across the country, the progress and proliferation has been spurred with the availability of affordable 3G devices such as Idea Blade, ID 918 and ID 280.
Idea TV has emerged as the biggest attraction for users to go for Idea 3G smartphones. Facebook and Youtube are the other most used applications.
Meanwhile, Idea has launched Aurus which comes pre-loaded with Idea TV, Idea Mall and a host of applications like Gravity sensor, built in social media Apps such as Facebook, Twitter, Orkut, Youtube, GPS, Wi-Fi, Games, Music and Video player etc.
Aurus is the only smartphone in this price category which comes with an in-ear handsfree. It also has a 4GB external memory card.
“3G is becoming an enabler in smaller towns which don’t have good broadband access. Deep rooted mobile network and availability of affordable smartphones are making acceptance and adoption of 3G services faster in Tier 2 & 3 towns. The new Aurus will offer key 3G features like Video calling which will be a new experience for users of all age groups, especially the youth and working professionals, who want to own high-end, feature rich smartphones but find them unaffordable,” said Sashi Shankar, chief marketing officer, Idea Cellular.
Idea Aurus is priced at Rs 7,190. Idea users who recharge with Rs 259 will get 3G benefits worth Rs 2,340 with the smartphone. The end user cost translates to Rs 5,109.