Idea Eyes Pan India 4G Rollout in FY17, To Invest Rs 8,000 Cr

Idea Cellular is planning to launch 4G services in another 11 circles taking the total footprint to 20 circles in 2017. The operator that claims to be adding one network site every 10 minutes is also planning to invest around Rs 8,000 crore to get the desired reach by next year.

Idea has planned to add nearly 57,000 additional sites this year to enable the launch of 4G in 9 circles and expand wireless broadband footprint on a pan-India level. With the launch of 4G services in UP West, UP East, Gujarat, Mumbai, Bihar, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir where spectrum was acquired in the recent auction – Idea will expand its 4G network to 20 circles in FY17.

Currently, Idea’s wireless broadband network is spread across 17 circles with a population of over 880 million, with 50% of this population already covered. The company plans to achieve a network of nearly 250,000 sites and optical fibre network of 1.41 Lakh Km this FY to lay a strong foundation for futuristic mobile broadband services.

According to Mr. Himanshu Kapania, Managing Director, Idea Cellular, “Idea’s 4G footprint, by the end of this year, will cover our key 20 circles contributing 94% of the company revenue and 90% of industry revenue. I am confident that our strengths of stable, reliable and legendary operational execution coupled with agile and adaptive work style, will keep us ahead of the curve as we move into the next phase of telecom industry revolution driven by Digital.”

As the company readies its pan-India broadband network, it is also gearing to be a key player in the Digital services space. Idea expects to launch its Idea branded Games in Q3FY17 and ‘Idea Movies & Music Services’ in future. Further, Idea’s efforts are on to introduce Live TV, Digital Magazines and Newspaper subscription, Video and Audio Chat, Rich messaging and Voice over IP services in the next financial year.

Additionally, the company spent Rs. 13,000 crore to acquire spectrum in the recent auction. Idea now has one of the strongest spectrum portfolio of nearly 900 MHz comprising of a good mix of TDD and FDD bands.

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