Idea Expands World-Class, High-Speed 4G LTE Services In Karnataka; Launches Bangalore Today
4G services now cover 39 towns across 24 districts; To expand to 61 towns by March ‘16
Bangalore, 28th January, 2016: Idea Cellular, one of the largest Indian telecom operators, announced the expansion of its high speed 4G LTE services across 39 towns of Karnataka, today. Within a month, the company hasexpanded its 4G LTE service footprint to 24 districts, including major towns of Bangalore, Mysore, Madikeri, Karwar, Chikmagalur, Belgaum and Chitradurga; covering 20% of the total population of the state.
In addition to Bangalore metro, Idea has today launched its high-speed 4G LTE services in other towns of Channarayapatna, Udyavara (CT), Harihar, Kunigal, Mulbagal, and Toranagal. With rapid expansion Idea will launch its 4G services in Mangalore, Udupi-Manipal, Bijapur, Bellary and 18 more towns by end of this financial year, taking the total tally to 61.
Idea Cellular is one of the leading player in the country with over 8.6 million satisfied consumers in Karnataka. Idea provides extensive 2G coverage on superior 900MHz, extensive 3G coverage and has now introduced its high speed 4G LTE services with a wide network coverage.
In December 2015, Idea Cellular had announced the launch of 4G LTE services in all 4 telecom circles (5 states) of South India, namely Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, and Karnataka. Earlier this month, the company launched services across 3 more circles (4 Indian states) – Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Haryana and Punjab, expanding its 4G LTE service footprint to 7 telecom service areas.
According to Mr. Ambrish Jain, Deputy Managing Director, Idea Cellular said, “Since last week of December 2015, Idea has rapidly rolled out its high-speed 4G LTE network to cover 7 major markets in India. By March 2016, our services will extend to 3 more key markets namely, Maharashtra & Goa, North East and Orissa, and by June 2016, Idea’s 4G footprint will cover 750 cities across 10 telecom circles.”
Idea Cellular currently holds 1800 MHz 4G spectrum in these 10 Telecom circles which cover 50% of telecom market but over 60% of Idea’s gross revenue. Additionally, Idea has recently signed an agreement with Videocon Telecommunications Limited for acquiring ‘Right to Use’ 1800 MHz spectrum under ‘Spectrum Trading Agreement’ in two of its key telecom leadership markets of Gujarat and Uttar Pradesh (West). Post completion of this transaction, 4G services will be extended to 12 service areas, covering 75% of Idea’s revenue base in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Mr. Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular, “Idea customers with 4G devices in these 183 towns can now start experiencing superfast speeds by simply upgrading their existing SIM cards to new 4G SIM cards. The company is also offering attractive subscription plans to digital content including a wide range of the latest Music, Movies and Games. Idea has also partnered with leading handset manufacturers and e-commerce retailers for special data bundling 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 –
- a) 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 key 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 from 28th February 2016.
- b) Attractive 4G data tariffs: Idea’s 4G Prepaid & Postpaid tariff plans are priced at par with existing 3G plans. The company is also offering ‘4G Packs’ starting as low as Rs. 21.
- c) Special promotional offer for consumers upgrading to new 4G smartphones: Prepaid or Postpaid customers buying new 4G smartphones before 31st March 2016 are being offered special Double Data benefit on all 1 GB and above packs. The 100% extra 4G promotional data can only be utilized on Idea’s latest 4G LTE network.
- Digital Content for 4G consumers: Idea, marking its first foray in the digital space, is launching an exciting assortment of Digital content in partnership with India’s leading content aggregators.
- a) Music: Idea has tied-up with Hungama Digital to offer a rich collection of Music content for all its consumers at a monthly subscription price of Rs. 99. Under a special offer, new 4G subscribers can subscribe to this content at just Rs. 29 per month till 31st March 2016.
- b) Movies and Videos: Idea is offering a wide library of Movies and short format Videos in partnership with EROS – a leading multi-lingual film content aggregator and Movie production house – at a monthly subscription price of Rs. 49 for all its consumers. For new 4G customers, a special offer for subscription at just Rs. 29 per month till 31st March 2016 is available.
- c) Games: Idea will be launching ‘Idea Games Club’ powered by Opera for all its consumers from 1st February 2016, at a monthly subscription price of Rs. 150. New 4G subscribers will be able to subscribe to this content at Rs. 29 per month till 31st March 2016 under a special offer.
- d) Idea Ultimate plans: Idea has announced exciting ‘Ultimate Plans’ which provide a Bundle of 4G Data, Unlimited Voice calls and Content subscription (powered by Hungama).
- Ultimate 999 Postpaid plan offers unlimited Idea to Idea Local calls, 3 GB Data and Music & Movies subscription (Ultimate 1098 Prepaid plan).
- Ultimate 1499 Postpaid plan bundles unlimited Local voice calls, along with 5 GB Data and Music & Movies subscription (Ultimate 1749 Prepaid plan).
III. Ultimate 2999 Postpaid plan offers unlimited National, Local and Roaming voice calls with 15 GB Data and Music & Movies subscription (Ultimate 3249 Prepaid plan).
- Wide Portfolio of 4G Smartphones & Devices: Currently, 2.7 million 4G devices across these 7 circles are registered on Idea’s network and growing at an exponential rate. To facilitate 4G device upgrade, Idea announces –
- a) Launch of Idea branded 4G devices: Idea 4G Dongles, 4G Mi-Fi (connects 10 users) and Home Wi-Fi (connects 32 users) are now available at Rs. 2,599 onwards with attractive 4G Data offers.
- b) Partnerships with leading handset companies: Idea has partnered with market leader Samsung for special offers on its 4G Smartphones. The two organizations will 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, Lava, Lenovo and Xolo to offer bundled 4G data plans on smartphones.
- c) 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 – www.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, Mi-Fi and Dongles onwww.ideacellular.com.
Idea’s World Class 4G Technology & 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, 3G 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.