Videocon telecom

Following bigger rivals such as Airtel, Idea and Reliance Jio, telecom operator Videocon Telecom said that it will be launching 4G services by the year end, reports the Economic Times.  The 4G services will be launched in the Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh circles.

The report quoted CEO Arvind Bali that the company will be investing Rs 550 crore by end of this fiscal to roll out the 4G services in the identified circles. “Our services will be launched on 1800 MHz band, which is more feasible for 4G rollout,” he added.

The report added that Videocon will be pricing their 4G services lower than 2G rates. Note that in February, Videocon had said that it would be rolling out 4G services in in Uttar Pradesh East, Uttar Pradesh West and Bihar telecom circles, though no specific date had been revealed. Videocon holds 5 MHz spectrum in the 1800 MHz band in these circles. The company plans to utilize the entire spectrum to rollout 4G LTE services in 29 cities in these circles.

For the quarter ended June 30, 2015, Videocon said that the data business contributes to approximately 12% of its gross revenue.

Interestingly, Videocon Telecom CEO Arvind Bali had said in December last year that they had shelved 4G plans due to poor acceptability of the service launched by other telcos. Instead, they had upgraded Videocon’s 2G network to 2.75G EDGE network.

Competition

– Note that Airtel, which launched commercial operations for 4G services in 296 towns and cities earlier this month, is offering 4G data packs starting from Rs 25. The company has also tied up with ecommerce player Flipkart to offer handsets with Airtel 4G SIMs. Airtel has also tied up with Samsung, who will facilitate SIM swaps. Samsung will also offer Airtel 4G data benefits on its select 4G devices.

– Reliance Jio Infocomm claims that it is now present in all 29 states in India and has a direct physical presence in nearly 18,000 cities and towns. Reliance Jio will be rolling out its complete commercial operations by December this year.

– Idea also has advanced its 4G launch plans by one year to 2016 as it felt the prices of equipment and smartphones which could support the technology have dropped. Idea had acquired 55Mhz of contiguous 5Mhz 1800 Mhz spectrum areas in 10 service areas in 2014 and 2015 for the launch of 4G services on LTE platform. The 10 circles where Idea will be launching 4G services are: Kerala, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and North East.