Facing competition from Reliance, MTS expands broadband network

By Telecom Lead Team: To compete with Reliance
Communications and others, MTS India is expanding its footprints across the
country in a bid to cement its position as a wireless broadband provider. It
has now expanded its wireless data network in Gujarat, Kerala and Andhra


The teleco is facing stiff competition from Reliance
Communication in the wireless broadband space. Reliance communication offers
various monthly plans to customers that vary from Rs 299 to Rs 1,750 per month.
Also, the company has some plans that are similar to the offerings of MTS.


MTS is expanding the wireless data network rapidly and
presently addresses over 92 percent of data potential across India. 


According to Indian telecoms regulator TRAI, as of
December last year, the broadband penetration in India stands at 1 percent as
against the mobile tele-density of 74.15 percent and 13.30 million broadband
connections as of December 2011. 


Telecommunications provider brand MTS that comes
under Sistema Shyam TeleServices has over 15 million wireless customers in
India and offers mobile and data services.


With the expansion, the telecom operator broadened its
reach to 59 towns in Kerala, 22 towns in Gujarat and 21 towns in Andhra


MTS India sells high-speed mobile broadband through
MBlaze dongles, available in 151 branded retail outlets, 2300 mass retail
outlets and 6100 organized retail outlets across Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat and
Kerala. The dongles also enable users to watch live television and video on
demand services. 


MTS’ High speed data (HSD) footprint covers more than 200
towns across Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Kerala. The company is
also credited to be the first telecom operator to provide HSD services on a
national highway in Southern India; Chennai Bengaluru National Highway.

The National Broadband Plan, envisaging 160 million broadband connections
including 60 million wireless broadband connections by the year 2014, is a
growth opportunity for the telco.

In a bid to grab maximum broadband users, MTS has also introduced a daily usage
plan, providing unlimited data usage for one day for just Rs.
96. Additionally, it offers unlimited data usage plans to its customers
starting at just Rs 798 per month.


The teleco has also collaborated with Hewlett Packard
(HP) to offer discounts on its data services with purchase of an HP laptop,
which includes discounted lifetime offers.


However, the Indian Supreme Court recently
cancelled 21 of 22 telecoms permits acquired by MTS in 2008 affecting around
12.5 million customers and around 3,500 employees. The February 2, 2012 verdict
also put a question on the Russian parent’s $ 3 billion investment in


Last month, MTS India raised a loan of INR 1,280 crore
through Non Convertible Debentures (NCD). The mobile operator is planning to
utilize the proceeds to scale up its telecom operations and repayment of
maturing loan. Deutsche Bank was the lead banker of the issue.


Danish Khan

[email protected]