Leading telecommunication services provider Vodafone India on Thursday announced the launch of 4G services in Ahmedabad and Vadodara following its launch in other cities of Gujarat like Surat, Gandhidham, Bhuj, Rajkot, Morbi, Gandhinagar, Diu, Vapi and Daman recently. Vodafone officials on Thursday said that currently the number of customers who have upgraded to 4G SIM cards will be close to 3 million plus in Gujarat following the 4G SIM card exchange drive run by the company in the last few months in anticipation of the launch 4G services.
At a press meet in Ahmedabad, Naveen Chopra – COO of Vodafone said that smartphone penetration in the state is growing at 27 per cent and 33 per cent of Vodafone’s customer base are data users with data services contributing to 22% of the company’s revenues. Chopra said, “We got our spectrum for Ahmedabad and Vadodara later because the 4G spectrum was used by defense and it had to be vacated, so that was the only reason we are late. Otherwise ideally we would have liked to be (Ahmedabad, Vadodara) here first.”
While Vodafone has a 36.8% revenue market share in the state, it has invested Rs 12,000 crores in the Gujarat market till date. Jayesh Gadia, Business Head – Gujarat, Vodafone India said ,”We cover 95% of the state and have over 19.37 million customers here. By December we intend to go to 216 more towns and we will be expanding 4G services across the entire circle in a phased manner. Out of the total data using customers in Gujarat – 50% of them would be on 3G currently. There are no different prices for 4G, so our 3G customer gets 4G services at the same price. On anvil is a bonanza offer of Rs 998 for 20 GB and when we launch our 4G services all our customers in the 4G network will get 1 GB free.”
As per the data shared by Vodafone officials, as on June 2016 Vodafone had a total of 17.39 million prepaid subscribers base and a 1.97 million post paid subscriber base in Gujarat. It has around 8595 2G cell sites and 6290 3G cell sites in Gujarat and the company has invested Rs 541 crores in FY 2016 to expand, modernise and build more technology and energy efficient network.