Telecom operator Idea has launched 3G services in Delhi on 900 MHz spectrum band in Delhi circle. Note in the ongoing spectrum auctions, the 900 MHz band has been seeing a lot of bidding by the top telecom operators.
The 3G launch in Delhi marks the company’s first 3G network in a metro circle in India. With this, Idea’s 3G network has expanded to 12 major markets in India, in addition to 3G services through ICR arrangements with other telecom operators in 9 circles, enabling its 3G subscribers experience seamless connectivity pan-India.
As of December 31, 2014, Idea has a total of 152 million subscribers, of which 34.2 million or 22.5% subscribers are active mobile internet users. Out of these 34.2 million users, 12.9 million or 37.7% are on 3G while 21.3 million or 62.3% are on 2G. Interestingly, 28.5 million Idea subscribers use a 3G enabled device, but only 12.9 million of them are 3G users.
Himanshu Kapania, chief executive of Idea, in a conference call said that Idea has about 59 MHz of spectrum coming up for renewal in the 900 Mhz band. It’s worth noting that Idea was the third highest depositor of Earnest Money Deposit (at Rs 4000 crore) among the telcos that have pre-qualified for spectrum auctions.
Remember that Idea Cellular had started culling incidental Internet users from Q3-FY14, due to which its mobile Internet subscription base had declined to 25.52 million in Q3-FY14 and 25.25 million in Q4-FY14. Incidental data users are those who have consumed less than 1 MB/month.