Telecom operator Videocon Telecom has upgraded its network to 2.75G EDGE, a 3G technology which will deliver speeds of up to 473.6 Kbps to mobile internet users. The company said it invested around Rs 130 crore for the upgradation.
EDGE data connectivity or 2.75G is typically faster than GPRS (2G and 2.5G) connection, but usually slower than a 3G network. The ITU indeed recognizes EDGE as a ratified 3G technology, which is compatible with existing 2G handsets, although it does not attain the data rates 3G can.
Videocon mentions that approximately 80% of mobile internet users in the country still use 2G handsets and as such it will be able offer its customers an upgrade in speed without requiring a handset upgrade on their part. Additionally, the company said 3G networks are available only in select areas, resulting in connection deterioration for customers when moving away from these areas. It said its 2.75 EDGE network on the other hand is universally implemented, avoiding a change in network type, which delivers a consistent experience to customers.
Videocon has branded its connection ‘pauney teen G’ for marketing purposes, and claims it will spend around Rs 50 crore on marketing efforts in the next few months. It also claimed that post the upgrade consumption of daily data by consumers has increased by 51%, while the number of unique data users has increased from 37% to 40%. The increase in average usage of data per user has gone up from 16MB to 22MB per day.
4G plans: It’s worth noting that, in May, Videocon had mentioned plans to launch 4G services of their own by this month. It had claimed it would also be offering various 4G related services like Live IPTV among others. The company had previously said that it was looking to launch 4G services using the FDD LTE technology and plans to offer these services in eight Indian states including Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat, UP (East & West), Bihar and Jharkhand.
Also worth noting is that Videocon hadn’t secured any spectrum during the Broadband Wireless Access spectrum auctions. However, the company had secured 24 blocks of spectrum across six circles in the November 2013 2G spectrum auctions.
Interestingly Videocon’s 2G service haven’t done particularly well in the country. The company had started its 2G services in Coimbatore in March 2010, almost three years after securing 2G licenses for 21 telecom circles in India. As of October 2014 however, the operator had a GSM user base of around 6 million, far behind the top few. In September, only 51.26% of its over 3 million wireless connection users were active.