Aircel to spend $500 million for 3G service in 2011

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

NEW DELHI - Mobile service provider Aircel Wednesday said it will invest over $500 million to roll out third generation (3G) service in the country in the January-March quarter of 2011.

We will launch the 3G services in the first quarter (January-March quarter) of the next year, said Gurdeep Singh, chief operating officer.

The company hopes to finalize the equipment manufacturer by next week and will launch its 3G services in the top 10 cities in the initial phase.

The company, which has over 45 million subscribers, expects the number to shoot up to over 75 million customers with the rolling out of the 3G services.

Aircel has won 3G spectrum in 13 circles, including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, Kolkata, Kerala, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh (East), West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, North East and Jammu and Kashmir.

On the affordability of the 3G, Singh said these services will not come cheap owing to the high cost of technology involved.

About market consolidation, he said there cannot be 14 players in a country and 3G will make way for consolidation.

The market will witness a major consolidation in the next two years with just 6-7 players remaining in the country, said Singh.

Malaysia’s Maxis Communications Berhad holds 74 percent stake in Aircel, while India’s Apollo Hospital Enterprise owns the remaining 26 percent.

Filed under: Economy

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