Mumbai, Aug 20: Aiming a 0.8 million connections in its first year of operations, Idea Cellular of the Birla Group on Wednesday, Aug 20 launched its services in this metropolis with an investment of Rs 800 crore upto March 2009.
Launching the services, Birla group chairman Kumaramangalam Birla told newsmen here that IDEA would vie for 20 per cent of the incremental four million mobile connections in the next 12 months and aim to cut into other service providers with better technology and future ready network. With a capacity to provide 1.5 million lines in the first year of opeations itself, IDEA has set up over 1,000 base stations across the city.
Already a leader in the Maharashtra circle, Idea has over 28 million subscribers across the country. The investment of Rs 800 crore included Rs 200 crore licence fee provided to the Department of Telecommunications. Mumbai is the 12th service area to form part of expanding IDEA's reach. It has secured licences to operate in 22 service areas.
Mr Birla said IDEA would soon launch its services in Bihar, Jharkhand, Tamil Nadu and Orissa. It had expanded recently into Uttar Pradesh (East) and Himachal Pradesh besides adding Karnataka and Punjab to its coverage area following acquisition of Spice Telecom.
With the company emerging debt free, it aims to establish in a big way across the country, where it has already touched 70 per cent of the area.
Mr Birla said with TMI of Malaysia also chipping in as a shareholder, IDEA would be providing a number of value added services.
He added IDEA would dicate the standards for mobile telephony in Mumbai and has set an aggressive growth plan.