- 4G services launched in 28 towns, including major ones – Nagpur, Ahmednagar and Shirdi, today; Other major towns of Aurangabad, Solapur and Sangli-Miraj to follow by month end
- With this launch, Idea delivers on its promise to provide its own 4G LTE services to 10 circles
- Idea’s 4G footprint to cover 750 towns by June 2016 across these 10 telecom circles
- Offers complimentary 4G SIM upgrade, attractive 4G tariffs and bundled digital content; Log on to ideacellular.com/4g for more details
Nagpur: Idea Cellular, the largest and fastest growing telecom operators in India, today announced the launch of its high speed 4G LTE services in its leadership circle Maharashtra & Goa. The company today launched its services in 28 towns, including the major towns of Nagpur and Ahmednagar, at a press conference held in the city today.
Within a short span of just 3 months, the company has delivered on its promise to launch its 4G LTE services in 10 circles within FY16, including the 4 telecom circles of South India – Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, Karnataka, Kerala and Tamil Nadu & Chennai, 3 telecom circles of North – Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Haryana, followed by the launch in Orissa and North East.
Other than Nagpur and Ahmednagar, the company will roll out its world class 4G LTE services in major towns of Aurangabad, Solapur and Sangli-Miraj by end of this month. Idea Cellular is the leading mobile telecom service provider in Maharashtra and Goa with over 23 million satisfied consumers, providing unmatched coverage on 2G and 3G in more than 34,000 towns and villages across these two states. The company also plans to launch 3G services on 900Mhz in select areas in the circle.
Announcing the expansion of 4G services Deputy Managing Director of Idea Cellular Ambrish Jain said, “Beginning Dec 23, we have rapidly expanded our 4G LTE services in these 10 markets in a record time frame of just 3 months. We had revised our capex guidance for financial year 2016 from Rs.65 billion to Rs.75 billion mainly on account of an accelerated 4G capex and associated fiber rollout and are fully geared up now to grow our presence, strengthen our portfolio and make more people join the digital bandwagon.”
Presently available in over 300 towns, Idea aims to exit FY16 with its 4G LTE services covering over 550 towns in these 10 circles, and plans to extend the 4G footprint to over 750 towns by June 2016.
According to Chief Marketing Officer of Idea Cellular Sashi Shankar, “Idea customers with 4G devices in the towns across these 10 telecom circles can now start experiencing superfast speeds by simply upgrading their existing SIM cards to new 4G SIM cards. Idea has also partnered with leading handset manufacturers and e-commerce retailers for special offers on new 4G smartphones.”
Key facts about Idea’s 4G services:
- 4G offerings for the consumers: Inviting all existing and new consumers to experience its high speed 4G LTE services, Idea has announced the following offers –
- Complimentary 4G SIM card upgrade: All customers can avail a complimentary 4G SIM upgrade from Company Showrooms and leading retail outlets across 750 towns. Existing customers in non-4G towns will also be able to enjoy Idea’s 4G services while roaming in these 4G towns by upgrading to 4G SIM cards.
- 4G priced same as 3G: Idea will offer 4G Prepaid & Postpaid tariff the same as 3G with Packs starting as low as Rs. 49 for prepaid customers.
- 4G Sharing Plan: Idea Cellular has launched a new EasyShare 499 plan for postpaid customers with 2GB 4G Data, 550 minutes and 200 SMS (local + national). These benefits can be shared by customers with other members at monthly rental of Rs 99 per member
Pre-book offer: Close to 2.5 million customers have pre-booked for 4G services before launch and are eligible for 1 GB of free 4G data.
- Digital Content for 4G consumers Idea, marking its first foray in the digital space, is launching an exciting assortment of plans to suit the needs of all customers.
- Idea Ultimate plans: Idea has announced exciting ‘Ultimate Plans’ which provide a Bundle of 4G Data, Unlimited Voice calls and Content subscription
- Ultimate 999 Post-paid plan offers unlimited Idea to Idea Local calls, 3 GB Data subscription (Ultimate 1098 Prepaid plan).
- Ultimate 1499 Postpaid plan bundles unlimited Local voice calls, along with 5 GB Data subscription (Ultimate 1749 Prepaid plan).
- Ultimate 2999 Postpaid plan offers unlimited National, Local and Roaming voice calls with 15 GB Data subscription (Ultimate 3249 Prepaid plan).
- Wide Portfolio of 4G Smartphones & Devices: Currently, over 6 million 4G devices across these 9 circles are registered on Idea’s network and growing at an exponential rate. To facilitate 4G device upgrade, Idea announces –
- Launch of Idea branded 4G devices: Idea 4G Netsetter (dongle), 4G Smart-wi-fi HUB (connects 10 users) are now available at Rs. 2,600 onwards with 100% cash back and Idea Home WIFI is available from smart-homes and offices which connects upto 32 devices.
- Partnerships with leading handset companies: Idea has partnered with market leader Samsung for exclusive plans on its popular 4G Smartphones called the Samsung Galaxy ON 5 and Samsung Galaxy ON 7. The two organizations will continue to launch a variety of programmes to offer differentiated and significant value to customers.
With increased adoption of 4G smartphones in recent months, Idea has also tied up with popular smartphone manufacturers including Intex Technologies, Lenovo, BlackBerry and Karbonn to offer bundled 4G data plans on smartphones.
- Tie up with leading E-Commerce retailer: Idea has partnered with Snapdeal, India’s largest online marketplace, for providing exciting bundled data offers on 4G devices.
- Launch of responsive 4G website: Idea also announced the launch of its responsive 4G website – ideacellular.com/4g Consumers can log on to this website to get more information about Idea’s 4G services, tariff plans and recharges, locate the nearest Idea stores offering 4G SIMs and much more. Idea is also rolling out a Smartphone E-store on its website. Consumers can now buy all leading 4G Smartphone brands on www.ideacellular.com.
Idea’s World Class 4G Technology and Network Deployment for Future Data Demand:
- Idea has rolled out its FDD platform enabled 4G LTE services on the 1800 MHz frequency band, which is the most preferred spectrum band for deployment of 4G services globally, and is supported by the majority of 4G handsets available in the market.
- Idea Cellular’s 4G LTE Network will be equipped with the enhanced ‘Fast Return’ feature enabling seamless and quick toggle for consumers across Idea’s 4G and 2G networks, offering superior experience for both mobile data and voice services. While the company possesses the capability to introduce VoLTE feature, existing customers’ current 4G devices do not support this feature. Accordingly, the deployment of VoLTE will be evaluated at a later stage.
- Idea is deploying state-of-the-art, ‘Single RAN’ equipment which supports multiple technologies in a given frequency band. For every 4G site on 1800 MHz, this equipment also provides additional 2G voice capacity on GSM spectrum.
- For FY16, Idea Cellular’s capex guidance is Rs. 6,500 crores, significantly higher than earlier years’ annual capex spends. In this fiscal year, Idea plans to add 40,000 – 45,000 sites on 2G, 3G and 4G technology platforms, complete a cumulative roll out of 111,000 kms of Fibre, and add an incremental 175-200 million population to the Mobile Broadband (3G & 4G) Population Coverage. The 4G launch in Southern India is part of the capex guidance by Idea.
- The roll out of Idea’s 4G services will be financed through internal accruals. The company recorded an EBITDA of Rs. 5,739 crores in H1FY16, a growth of 27.6% over H1FY15 and cash profits of Rs. 5,085 crores, a robust growth of 32.5% over H1FY15.