Idea Cellular Targets 750 Towns by Mid 2011 to Launch 3G Services

Idea Cellular, India’s third largest mobile operator, announced the launch of its -Gold Standard’ 3G services.
Idea announced the launch of 3G services in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh. Idea has set up -Experience Kiosks’ to provide a flavor of the services that customers can opt for. These will be available to all users at select -My Idea’ stores.
3G services will mark the beginning of the next phase of India’s telecom growth story and bring the sector on par with the most advanced telecom markets in the world,” said Himanshu Kapania, deputy managing director, Idea Cellular. Beginning today, Idea subscribers will be the first in India to experience the Gold Standard in 3G services.”
Currently, 10 percent of Idea’s over 86 million subscribers are said to be using 3G enabled handsets. It is expected that these users will be the early adopters of 3G services.
Idea’s 3G services will be available in 200 towns by mid April -11, progressively growing at the rate of 10 towns per day to cover 750 towns by mid 2011, and 4,000 towns by the end of FY12. Idea focused on growth from semi-urban heartlands of India and will continue to drive its 3G services from these industrial, agricultural and educational regions.
Beginning with MP, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and HP, Idea’s 3G services will expand in a progressive manner to provide expansive coverage across 4,000 towns by year end.
Idea will target areas of industrial and commercial activity, centers of learning, and high potential rural hinterlands where broadband is yet to make a breakthrough. Idea has set up the most extensive customer service network to educate customers on 3G and support their requirements, across the country,” said Ambrish Jain, director, Operations, Idea Cellular.
Idea’s 3G services will enable users to avail Video Conferencing, IdeaMall Application Store, Mobile TV, Video on Demand, and high-speed Internet Browsing. IdeaMall is Idea’s Application Store which offers an entire catalogue of games and applications on Web & Mobile platforms.
Idea’s 3G services will offer the best mobile experience in downloading songs, streaming videos on YouTube, streaming audio, photo updates on Facebook, mail and other online media, movie downloads, watching mobile TV, e-mailing with attachments, blog postings, viewing photos, and Flash & HD Gaming. Idea 3G users will experience speed upto 21 Mbps on 3G handsets, and higher speed on other devices depending on the device capability.
Idea introduced time based billing plan for 3G services enabling users to avail high-end data services without worrying about the volume of usage. To promote usage, Idea has introduced -sachet’ pricing offering attractive trial packages with per day billing.
Idea won 2.1 GHz (3G Spectrum) in 11 circles MP & Chattisgarh, HP, Maharashtra & Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Haryana, UP East, UP West, AP, J&K and Punjab which contribute over 80 percent of the company’s revenues. Idea has planned a progressive roll out of 3G services in these locations.
Idea is finalizing long-term arrangements with select quality operators for service areas where Idea was not awarded 3G spectrum. Together, these will enable Idea subscribers, throughout the country, to enjoy the Gold Standard in 3G services, apart from deriving the benefit of nation-wide roaming.
Recently, Idea and Axis Bank announced the start of India’s first mobile based financial inclusion initiative. The Idea MyCash facility is aimed at providing basic banking services including money transfer, using the
mobile platform.