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Updated : Idea Set To Ring In Operations In Mumbai !

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Idea set to ring in ops in Mumbai

18 Jun, 2008, 0000 hrs IST

MUMBAI: Idea Cellular is close to launching operations in Mumbai, which generates the highest avaerage revenue per user (ARPU) in India. The AV Birla group telco will start services by August to become the seventh player in the highly competitive circle. Idea is also expected to roll out in Bihar before September, sources told ET.

With these launches, Idea will cover 70% of the country. After the impending acquisition of Spice Communications, having 4.4 million subscribers in Punjab and Karnataka, Idea will have a foothold in all the major circles of India.

The company is investing Rs 650 crore from IPO proceeds for the rollout in Mumbai. It has awarded a four-year contract to Ericsson, valued at $100 million. In Bihar, the investments have been made from internal accruals.

Mumbai, with 14 million subscribers, is the highest-revenue generating market. According to telecom regulator Trai, the blended average revenue per month per user (pre-paid+post-paid) is the highest in Mumbai at Rs 274. The post-paid ARPU is as high as Rs 630. However, wireless penetration in the financial capital is as high as 70%, signalling tough competition for Idea.

“But since no operator has launched services in the circle since 2004, the entry of Idea may shake-up the market. Idea is expected to wean subscribers away from BPL Mobile, which has failed to gain users amid dispute between the Ruias and Vodafone Essar,” an analyst told ET.

BPL Mobile, once the most popular brand in Mumbai, has less than 10% share in the circle with 1.3 million users. Other operators present in the financial capital are Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Essar, Tata Indicom, MTNL and Reliance Communications.

The Mumbai circle has been adding nearly 0.35 million subscribers every month while Bihar has over 10 million users and is adding 0.5 million on a monthly basis. Mumbai and Bihar jointly account for nearly 8% of total monthly wireless net additions in the country.

“Mumbai launch will offer Idea an opportunity to increase ARPU in comparison to other circles as there is substantial national and international traffic out of the city. Bihar, on the other hand, is an under-penetrated market and leaves ample scope for Idea to grab subscribers,” said the analyst.

Idea is the market leader in Maharashtra circle with around 23% share while it ranks second in Gujarat with 15% market share. “Expansion will lead to low termination and interconnect charges, resulting in savings,” he said. In Mumbai, Idea will use towers of Indus Towers.

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Idea plans Rs 647 crore capital expenditure for Mumbai circle

July 06, 2008, 0:11 IST

Idea Cellular, an Aditya Birla group company, is investing around Rs 647 crore for the rollout of operations in the Mumbai circle. The operations are expected to commence in two months time.

The company's Mumbai and Bihar circle launches were delayed due to non-allocation of spectrum, which was finally awarded in March by the government.


• Idea Cellular is investing around Rs 647 crore for the rollout of operations in the Mumbai circle.

• Idea Cellular has invested only Rs 83 crore from its initial public offering (IPO) proceeds for the Mumbai circle rollout.

• The company will also seek permission to use around Rs 159 crore for expanding its network into newer circles.

Idea Cellular has invested only Rs 83 crore from its initial public offering (IPO) proceeds for the Mumbai circle rollout. The company plans to invest the remaining amount (Rs 564 crore) for which it is seeking shareholder approvals. Idea has convened an extraordinary general meeting (EGM) on July 30 for the purpose, according to the EGM notice issued by the company.

Idea is planning to enter the Mumbai circle, which is one of the most lucrative regions in the country for quite sometime. All telecom operators, barring a few like Aircel Cellular and Spice Communications, operate in the circle.

Bihar is another circle on its agenda, which will also be launched shortly.

The company will seek permission to use around Rs 159 crore for expanding its network into newer circles in the country as well. Till March 31, 2008, the company has made investments of Rs 812 crore for expansion.

The company, the fifth largest telecom service provider in India, will also invest another Rs 81 crore as entry fee and capital expenditure for its national long distance (NLD) operations.

Idea, according to the EGM notice, has utilised around 62 crore for the IPO expenses and Rs 302 crore for general corporate purposes.

The Mumbai-headquartered company had raised around Rs 2,200 from its IPO in February last year. Idea has licenses to operate in 13 circles comprising states of Mumbai, Delhi, UP, Uttaranchal, Haryana, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh among others.

The company recently acquired B K Modi's 40.8 per cent stake in Spice Communications in an all-cash deal worth Rs 2,700 crore, including non-compete fees. The deal values Spice at around Rs 6,800 crore.

"We are now in the big league of telecom players in the country," Idea Chairman Kumar Mangalam Birla had said.

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After Idea launching in mumbai circle, it will have maximum number of operators.. Good for us.. Hopefully, they launch some innovative schemes and offers..

Edited by vmsanghrajka

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more the merrier... let them come one.. let them come all..

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Yes my dear friends, as soon as Idea starts its operations in Mumbai, the subscribers are sure to get better offers from their respective operators due to tough competition.

In the end, the customer will leach the booty.


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Idea hopes to cash in on Mumbai churn

DNA, July 29, 2008

Idea Cellular, an Aditya Birla group telecom company, is looking to capitalise on the customer churn rate in the telecom industry to tap the crowded and highly-competitive Mumbai market. The company is now busy setting up 200 Idea Cellular showrooms ahead of the launch.

Pradeep Srivastava, chief marketing officer, Idea Cellular Ltd, told DNA Money, "We are waiting for the monsoon to retreat. Our Mumbai services will be launched by the end of September."

The company has tie-ups with 15,000-20,000 outlets across India for retailing its telecom products.

Analysts feel that Idea's fight for a share in the Mumbai market is likely to be a tough one, as most telecom companies already have a large presence here.

But Idea Cellular is banking on customer dissatisfaction with call drop (the disruption in network) and higher SMS rates to lure customers away from their existing service providers, said India Infoline analyst GV Giri.

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Idea ready to ring in Mumbai

16 Aug, 2008, 0236 hrs IST, ET Bureau

MUMBAI: Two years after it first got the Indian government’s approval to launch wireless telephony services in the country’s financial capital, Aditya Birla group’s Idea Cellular has finally landed in Mumbai.

According to an Aditya Birla group official, the services will be formally launched in the next few days with the entire infrastructure now in place. “We are ready... all of us at the Birla group have shifted to the Idea network,” the official said asking not to be named. The company has set up a network of 200-odd stores to offer its services, the official added. In some places, the marketing team is also offering the product.

The official said all beta tests were successful and now the sales and marketing team would takeover for the rollout of the operations. When contacted, Idea managing director Sanjeev Aga declined to comment on the impending launch of services.

India’s fifth-largest network, Idea Cellular’s journey to Mumbai was fraught with hurdles over spectrum allocation and it was finally allocated to the company this March. Idea had earlier targeted to launch its service by the last quarter of calendar 2007.

According to an extraordinary general meeting notice sent to the shareholders, Idea Cellular said it had set aside Rs 650 crore for the Mumbai roll out from its initial public offering funds raised in February last year.

Idea would be the seventh wireless telephony services provider in Mumbai which has more than 10 mn customers with Vodafone Essar leading the pack with 37.89 lakh customers, according to Cellular Operators Association of India statistics till end July.

The Mumbai launch also comes at a time when the Department of Telecom (DoT) has asked the company to surrender one of the two telecom licences it holds for the circles of Punjab and Karnataka.

Idea Cellular, which had acquired a controlling stake in Spice Communications for around Rs 2,700 crore in June, now holds two licences in these circles on account of this acquisition. The DoT, however, ruled out any move to refund the licence fees paid by Idea after it surrenders the licences.

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I think idea announced that they will launched service in Mumbai at 15th August.....

What happen...? Not prepare...... :NOTriste:

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Idea Cellular dials into Mumbai circle

Idea cellular has dialed into the Mumbai circle today. Idea will launch with initial network of over 1,000 sites in Mumbai. It will offer 2G mobile technology with 2.75G capabilities and edge.

Idea is the market leader in Maharashtra circle, with 23% share and Mumbai launch will lead to low termination and interconnect charges. It has invested around Rs 647 crore for rollout of Mumbai operations. Mobile number portability will give it further boost and breakeven will take at least 18 months. The wireless penetration is high in Mumbai at 70%. Idea covers 65% telephony potential in India and Mumbai's addition will give it continuous coverage. No operator has launched services in Mumbai since 2004 and Idea's launch in Mumbai will help it improve its Average Revenue Per User (ARPUs).

Idea Cellular has added Mumbai to existing 11 circles. Idea Cellular has 14 million mobile subscribers and the total Mumbai GSM subscriber base is 9.4 million. Bharti, BPL Mobile Reliance, Vodafone are already present in Mumbai. Mumbai mobile market is the highest revenue generating market. As per TRAI, blended ARPU in Mumbai is Rs 274. As per TRAI, post-paid ARPU in Mumbai is at Rs 630. It has been adding nearly 3.5 lakh subscribers per month.

Idea Cellular's merger with Spice has brough in two more circles. Idea had more than 28 million users by (July-end) and has 10% of India's wireless market. It should also launch in Bihar by end of Q2. Idea also has spectrum for Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Chennai. It should start services there by end-December, January-2009.

Source: Moneycontrol.com

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welcome idea.

more players always means expansion of the user base...

it will be fun to watch its aggressiveness to penetrate the commercial capital of the country...

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Idea Cellular plans Rs 800-cr capex in FY 09

20 Aug, 2008, 1903 hrs IST, PTI

MUMBAI: The Aditya Birla group-promoted Idea Cellular has drawn up a Rs 800-crore capex plan, which includes Rs 200-crore for new licences in the current fiscal, a top company official said.

"We plan to invest Rs 800-crore in FY 09. We will invest Rs 600-crore for the roll-out of our Mumbai operations while Rs 200-crore will be spent on new licenses," Aditya Birla Group Chairman, Kumar Mangalam Birla, said on the sidelines of a conference to announce the launch of Idea's mobile service in Mumbai today.

The company now plans to start services in Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Orissa by end-December-January-2009. After the merger of Spice Telecom, the company will start services in Karnataka and Punjab, Birla said.

Idea Cellular currently runs operations in Delhi, Himachal Pradesh, Rajasthan, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh and Uttaranchal, Madhya Pradesh and Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh and Kerala and holds spectrum for Bihar, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka and licenses for the remaining six service areas.

With the planned launch of services in Bihar, Jharkhand, Orissa and Tamil Nadu, including Chennai, before the end of this fiscal, Idea's footprint will soon cover approximately 90 per cent of India's telephony potential, Birla said.

Idea has made a remarkable progress in the last two years, as its subscribers base has vaulted from 9-million to 28-million and cell sites to 29,000.

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To add 8 lakh customers in 1 yr in Mumbai: Idea

Source : CNBC-TV18

Kumar Mangalam Birla, Chairman, Aditya Birla Group said that the total expense for Mumbai operations is seen at Rs 800 crore till March. Idea is looking at garnering 20% of the net additions in Mumbai circle in the next one year and atleast 8 lakh customers in the next 12 months, he added.

KM Birla also said not to expect number portability in the next 10-12 months. He said that he is not targeting any specific consumer segment in Mumbai. He expects Idea's Mumbai operations to break even in four years.

Excerpts from CNBC-TV18’s exclusive interview with Kumar Mangalam Birla:

Q: What would be Idea’s philosophy for gaining the market share in Mumbai?

A: This is the first time a network of this caliber in terms of technology is being used for a launch for a city anywhere in the world. So it’s superior technology, it’s as usual better and more customized consumer care, competitive price points. The big USP for us is going to be the fact that the network is designed in a way, which is superior and unique. We will start with thousand towers, which is the largest ever in the world for a launch in the city.

Q: Out of these thousand towers, how much would you be putting on your own Idea? You also have tie-up with other service providers for your tower business, so how would these towers be divided between the two set ups?

A: That’s a little bit difficult for me to put in exact number but it would suffice to say that it would be a judicious and optimal mix between our own towers and of Indus.

Q: Mumbai itself is the highest postpaid ARPU (average revenue per user) at about more than Rs 600, so will you target that particular segment and how do you think will number portability help you in the coming years or so?

A: We don’t expect number portability to happen in the next 9-12 months. So, we will have to see how it impacts us but that would basically bolt down to the quality of telephony and customer care. In terms of targets, we aren’t targeting any specific consumer segment and we have different price plans for different segments. Idea as an operator is very much looking at being a service provider that every Mumbaikar will be proud to use.

Q: Would your service be in any case different from the current competitors that you have in the market. We have a lot of call drops, conversations don’t get completed, calls don’t get initiated. Will Idea be any different?

A: Some of the issues of call drops are due to the geography topography, which remain common. Idea would have or does have a superior network, which will ensure the lowest call drops and incomplete conversations because of the architecture of the network and the technology that has been deployed. A network of the telecom operator takes about a couple of weeks to start running optimally but Idea will position itself as a superior Mumbai telephony player in Mumbai through superior technology.

Q: When do you think will Idea’s Mumbai operations break even?

A: We have consciously made a decision to make a large investment. We are investing Rs 800 crore in Mumbai because we want to provide Mumbaikar with the best technology possible anywhere in the world. We expect to have a profit break even in four years. We could have chosen to invest lower than Rs 800 crore and breakeven earlier but it’s a very conscious decision to provide a state of the art, best in the world technology and in actual terms experienced by Mumbai.

Q: How many users you think you will have in a year’s time on Idea’s Mumbai network?

A: We are aiming to get about 20% of the net additions that happen in Mumbai. We would hope that 20% of customers would latch on to and become Idea customers in Mumbai.

Q: Would that number translate into something like a shade below a million customers?

A: That target comes down, a little less than a million in the first one year.

Q: How would your pricing strategy be for instance in mobile telephony? We have seen how the prices have gone down in the past five years and they continue to slide further. What would you be doing on that particular department and how will your ARPU look like six months from now specifically for Mumbai?

A: I can’t talk about price plans specifically; it would have to be relative to what the competition does. Idea isn’t playing on price; it’s a composite offering of very high technology or minimum number of call drops and technological hiccups. So, it’s a composite offering and not really an offering that’s pegged on price alone.

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Well at least the person agrees that he has nothing more or better to offer than what is already available in terms of pricing of products. I believe that the next round of battle is going to be for quality of services and not the pricing as the tariffs are already near rock bottom.

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Idea ties up with Nokia to offer N96 from September

27 Aug, 2008, 0028 hrs IST, ET

MUMBAI: Taking on Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Essar, Idea Cellular has tied up with the world’s largest handset maker, Nokia, to offer the N96 smartphone, considered the biggest competition to the Apple iPhone. The dual-slide handset will be available on Idea networks from September.

N96 comes with 16 GB storage space, which can be expanded to 24GB. This memory allows the user to store up to 18,000 songs, over 20,000 images at 5 mega pixel, 20 full-length movies or nearly 60 hours of video. It has a 2.8 inch screen and comes preloaded with ‘Wave Secure’ security application which allows consumers not only to track the phone if it is stolen or lost but also create a back-up through the Internet.

Idea’s partnership with Nokia also extends to other mid and high-end range from the Finnish giant’s stable besides the ‘N’ series. “Idea plans to introduce several attractive offers and innovative tariff plans, on various devices, starting with the N96, in early September, targeted at a varied cross-section of customers,” the company said in a statement in Mumbai on Tuesday.

“We are pleased to partner with Nokia in leading the industry to bring customers a complete suite of Idea communications, browsing, content and Internet services. This is a logical step for Idea to take, as it will further help augment our customer experience. These high-end Nokia handphones are known worldwide for their versatility and utility,” Idea Cellular MD Sanjeev Aga said. Nokia India vice-president and managing director D Shivakumar said the alliance would offer consumers an option to choose from a wide range services from Idea Cellular on Nokia’s handsets.

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