Reliance Communications has become the second private telecom operator (fourth, overall) to launch 3G services in India, with the launch of operations in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Chandigarh. The company intends to launch services in the 13 circles before 31st March 2011. Services launched, include Video Calling, Mobile TV. A 3G portal has been launched in partnership with Nokia, Facebook, Ericsson for applications, Universal Music for content. The portal is powered by Motricity.
Just as other telecom operators have said, RCOM too intends to achieve a national footprint through partnerships with other telcos, for the remaining 9 circles.
Our guess, in terms of partnerships that may be inked, for the remaining circles, are: Idea Cellular in Maharashtra, Gujarat, Haryana, UP (East) and UP (West), and Aircel in Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kerala. We think it’s unlikely that RCOM will partner with Vodafone, Bharti Airtel or Tata Teleservices.
RCOM has spectrum in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Punjab, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, North East, Jammu & Kashmir, Orissa and Assam, for which it has paid Rs. 8585.04 crore. RCOM is one of the three operators to get both Delhi and Mumbai, alongwith Bharti Airtel and Vodafone. Remember that RCOM had dropped out of the Broadband Wireless Access auction, after a settlement was reached between the ADA Group and Reliance Industries.