Idea Cellular to invest Rs 4, 500 crore on expansion | india | Hindustan Times
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Idea Cellular to invest Rs 4, 500 crore on expansion

india Updated: Oct 27, 2009 17:49 IST

Idea Cellular, the Aditya Birla Group's telecom arm, will pump in around Rs 4, 500 crore this fiscal for expanding operations to cover all the 22 telecom circles in the country, the company said here Tuesday.

"We now have presence in 20 circles. We will soon launch operations in Assam and the North-east to make our presence felt in all 22 telecom circles," Idea's operations director Ambrish Jain told reporters.

The company has a subscriber base of 5.1 crore, with the figure going up by 50-60 percent year-on-year, Jain said on the sidelines of the launch of the company's services in Kolkata and West Bengal circles.

As part of its expansion in the eastern and north-eastern parts of India, Idea Cellular will invest Rs 1, 200-Rs 1, 500 crore this year, of which Rs 600 crore is earmarked for West Bengal.

"In West Bengal, we will raise our investment to Rs 1, 200 crore over the next three years," he said.

The company rolled out services with both per-second and per-minute tariff plans in the state.

"We are the first operator giving choice before the subscribers to opt for a per second or per minute pulse," Jain said, adding that however, the per second tariff mode was not sustainable in the long run in India.

Turning to the state, he said there would be initial network coverage of 1,150 cell sites, and coverage will be expanded to over 2,800 cell sites by next March.

He also said the company will lay more stress on the West Bengal circle, which has a mobile penetration of only 24 percent, as against the highly competitive market of Kolkata city that has a mobile tele-density of 73 percent.