Idea overtakes BSNL as market leader in Kerala

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Kochi, Mar 12 (UNI) Idea Cellular Ltd has overtaken public sector BSNL as the market leader for cellular phone services in Kerala, Company Chief Operating Officer, Kerala Circle, B Ramakrishna said today.

Talking to mediapersons on the sidelines of a prize distribution function here for the winners of the 'Idea Dhamaka' and 'Idea-Motorola SMS Contest,' Mr Ramakrishna said according to February 2008 figures of the Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI), Idea had a customer base of 2.5 million in Kerala against BSNL's 2.1 million.

Stating the market for mobile telephony was becoming increasingly competitive, Mr Ramakrishna said 2007 was a critical year for Idea with the company rolling out its services in nearly 1,000 towns across the country.

The market was set to become even more competitive next year with the customers demanding value-for-money and innovation in products, he added.

Talking of the 'Idea Dhamaka' and SMS Contests, Mr Ramakrishna said the main objective was to popularise SMS services among customers.

Unlike the western countries, where nearly 40 per cent of the revenues were generated by data-based services such as SMS, the penetration and use of SMS in India was still quite low.

To put across the message that a lot of barriers could be broken with the help of SMS, Idea had recently launched a new commercial with Film Star Abishek Bachachan figuring as a tour guide outside the Taj Mahal.

Earlier, Mr Justice A K Basheer of the Kerala High Court gave away the first prize, a Maruti Alto car and Motorola handsets to 30 other winners of the contest.

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