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Aircel launches 3G in Chennai; to invest Rs 23K cr in 4 yrs

Press Trust of India  |  Chennai 

operator Aircel today launched its 3G services here and unveiled plans for cumulative investments of Rs 23,000 crore over the next 3-4 years.

"We have already invested about Rs 23,000 crore for offering various services including 3G. An equal amount will be spent in the next 3-4 years," Aircel Chief Operating Officer Gurdeep Singh told reporters.

The pan-India operator would launch 3G services in the remaining circle, where it has 3G licence, by mid-March.

Aircel is also in discussions with other operators for launching 3G services in the circles where it did not win the spectrum.

"We have 3G licences in 13 circles. And are in talks with other operators (for launching 3G services in the remaining circles). We hope it to be finalised in coming weeks," Singh said.

Aircel would provide 3G products for both pre-paid and post-paid users available at all company outlets in Chennai.

Aircel customers would have an option of purchasing the 3G pre-paid cards priced at Rs 132, Rs 252, Rs 502, and Rs 802 to download upto 75 MB, 150 MB, 350 MB, and 1,024 MB data, respectively, for a month bundled with voice and short messaging service.

Also, the company plans to introduce Dongles enabling professionals to stay connected.

Singh said the calls made using 3G service would be routed through a "specialised" data call centre set up in Bangalore.

Citing a report, he said internet penetration in India stood at 7% and the launch of 3G service would help boost it further.

Besides, launching its 3G services today, Aircel also unveiled its Google phone "IDEOS" powered by Android operating system.

On their association with Infosys Technologies, Singh said they were developing an application store with an aim to offer a host of services to its users.

"The social networking thread completely changes every 100 kms of the country and its an endeavour for us to have an association with Infosys to develop an application store...," he said.

The company also informed that while its revenues grew by 44% in 2009, 2010 saw its market share surge by 19%.

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First Published: Tue, February 22 2011. 20:14 IST
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