Indian telecommunication company Reliance Communication has revealed plans to launch GSM services within one year of receiving the spectrum. It will invest $1.27 billion in launching its services across India. The spectrum allocation is expected in March 2008 and the operations will start in March 2009.
We have applied for GSM spectrum for all 22 circles, as soon as we get frequency, within a year we will start GSM services, said RCom’s chairman, Anil Ambani, while declaring the second quarter results on Wednesday. RCom network is expected to cover 23,000 towns and 0.6 million villages this year.
In October 2007, the Indian government announced a new telecom policy in which a single operator was allowed to provide dual technology. The government plans to offer additional spectrum to service providers depending on their subscriber growth. RCom was the first service provider to apply for spectrum and it paid INR16.5 billion ($419 million) as license fees in October 2007. Other companies such as HFCL and Shyam Telecom also received the GSM license.
RCom plans to install 40,000 multi-tenancy towers supporting multiple technologies by the year end. If the company receives an additional 4.4 Mhz of GSM spectrum, it will expand its existing GSM presence beyond the eight circles in which it already operates. The company already offers CDMA services in all 22 circles in the country.
The Indian telecom market is one of the fastest growing markets in the world. According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the Indian mobile market recorded the wireless user addition as 7.34 million in the quarter ending June 2007, taking the country’s total mobile subscriber base to 184.9 million. The GSM subscriber base grew at a rate of 12.7% compared to a 10% growth of CDMA subscriber base. The GSM subscribers account for 73% of the total Indian market, with 135.79 million subscribers.
Source: ComputerWire daily updates