Aircel to invest $2.5 bn for pan-India roll out | business | Hindustan Times
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Aircel to invest $2.5 bn for pan-India roll out

business Updated: Sep 23, 2007 22:47 IST
Archana Khatri
Archana Khatri
Hindustan Times
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Maxis Telecom-managed Aircel will be investing $2.5 billion to have its presence in all the 23 telecom circles by 2009. Currently Aircel is present in 9 circles and has already received the licence to operate in another 14 circles.

The roll-out, however, will depend on the allocation of spectrum by Department of Telecommunication (DOT). The company will start the operations in Kolkata by this year end or early next year as it received the requisite spectrum only in May this year, company officials said.

The company also plans to make the most of its telecom tower infrastructure as tower sharing has become an additional source of revenue for telecom operators. "We cannot comment whether we will be looking to set up a separate (tower) company or a unit, but we are going to be aggressive in tower share in the coming days," said a company official.

Aircel's recent roll outs include launches in Assam, North East, Jammu & Kashmir, Orissa, West Bengal, Bihar and Himachal Pradesh. The telecom player had a subscriber base of 7.6 million as of August 2007.

Aspiring to be total communications solutions provider, Aircel is also in the process of chalking out plans for international long distance (ILD) and national long distance (NLD) telephony. It obtained the licences for the same from DoT in December last year. Company sources say Aircel has tested a complete array of 3G services in Chennai and is "3G ready" and would roll out 3G enabled services as soon as it gets a green signal from the government. Already present in 15 cities with Wi-Maxservices, the company has plans to extend its footprint to 44 cities by the end of this year.