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Videocon says it will offer 4G data at 2G rates; Initial rollout in UP & Bihar circles

Videocon telecom

Videocon Telecom has announced plans to rollout 4G LTE FDD services in Uttar Pradesh East, Uttar Pradesh West and Bihar telecom circles, though no specific date has been revealed. Videocon claims that it will be offering 4G data services at the price of 2G/3G rates to encourage adoption.

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, and offer voice-on-overlay network in these cities. In the remaining coverage area, the telco shall offer 2G voice service on their own network.

Interestingly, Videocon Telecom CEO Arvind Bali had said in December last year that they have shelved their 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.

The telco claims it will be investing Rs 1200 crore over the next 3 years for the rollout, which will be done across three phases. Six cities will be covered in phase I, 12 cities in phase II and 11 cities in phase III. Videocon is also exploring options of intra-circle roaming (ICR) arrangements with other telcos for 4G data, and possibly ink barter agreements for voice ICR.

The company, which recently received the Class A pan-India ISP license, also plans to launch 4G data services over Wi-Fi initially in these three circles.

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The company had earlier stated plans of launching 4G services in India in December 2014. While the company hadn’t secured any spectrum during the Broadband Wireless Access spectrum auctions, it was looking to use the 2G spectrum acquired in the November 2013 spectrum auctions and roll out 4G services using the FDD LTE technology.

Videocon Telecom’s GSM business accounted for 41% of its total gross revenue or Rs 200.5 crore, data accounted for 6% of its total GSM revenue or Rs 12.03 crore, in Q3-FY15.

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