Videocon eyes 4G trials in A'bad by Diwali [DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India)]
(DNA : Daily News & Analysis (India) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) "It's now a matter of time when the 4G enabled handsets will be launched by companies in India and the telecom operators start offering the high data speed. At present, the ecosystem does not support the 4G technology in India. Currently, Reliance Jio, Videocon Telecom, Uninor and Tikona Digital have the license and spectrum for 4G in Gujarat. Among these four players, Videocon claims to become first operator to launch the high data speed services in Gujarat.
Videocon is planning to start 4G trials in state by Diwali, hoping that mobile companies will start selling 4G enabled handsets by that time. "We already have license, spectrum and technology to launch 4G in Gujarat. But the ecosystem does not support it. We hope that by Diwali, we will start our trials and soon after that, we may become the first operator to launch 4G in Gujarat," said director & CEO of Videocon Telecom, Arvind Bali.
The operator is currently offering 2G services with rate of data downloading at around Rs75 per 1GB. "We are planning to keep the 4G tariff equal to 2G in Gujarat. Being the latest, we have an advantage of installing latest technology which reduces the cost. For us the cost of offering 4G will be equal to 2G. Hence we will pass on the benefit," he said.
With 4,103 base tower stations in Gujarat, Videocon claims of covering 51% of population in state. "We are investing about Rs400 crore to expand our presence in 2014-15. With this, we will add 730 more sites in the state and our coverage area will increase to up to 65% population of Gujarat," said Bali.
At present, data contributes to around 18% to the total revenue generated by Videocon in Gujarat. "In 2013-14, our revenue in state was around Rs150 crore, in which voice dominates. But in future, we want to focus more on data. Voice may come to a saturation but data has no limitations," he said and added that in 2014-15 the company is eyeing revenue to increase to Rs300 crore.
By the end of January 2014, Gujarat had 5.39 crore mobile connections which includes 13.75 lakh Videocon Telecom subscribers. "We are expecting that our subscriber base will increase to 20 lakh by end of March 2014. After expansion of network and retail outlets, we hope of double our customer base by end of March 2015," said Bali.
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