Telecom operator Idea Cellular said on Wednesday that it will continue the rollout of its wireless broadband network, expanding 4G services to 20 circles in 2016-17. “Idea has planned nearly 57,000 additional sites this year to enable the launch of 4G in nine circles and expand wireless broadband footprint on a pan-India level,” a company release said.
With the launch of 4G services in circles of UP West, UP East, Gujarat, Mumbai, Bihar, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam and Jammu and Kashmir, where spectrum was acquired in the recent auction, Idea will expand its 4G network to 20 circles in FY17, it added.
The Aditya Birla Group company has planned a capex of Rs 7,500 crore to Rs 8,000 crore, to support the rollout of the network. Additionally, the company spent Rs 13,000 crore to acquire spectrum in the recent auction. Currently, Idea’s wireless broadband network is spread across 17 circles with a population of over 880 million, with 50 per cent of this population already covered.
“Idea’s 4G footprint, by the end of this year, will cover our key 20 circles contributing 94 per cent of the company revenue,” Idea Cellular Managing Director Himanshu Kapania said. The company expects to launch `Idea-branded Games’ in third quarter of FY17 and `Idea Movies and Music Services’ in future. “Further, Idea’s efforts are on to introduce Live TV, digital magazines and newspaper subscription, video and audio chat, rich messaging and Voice over IP services in the next financial year,” the statement said.