Idea set to foray into digital space next week with “Digital Idea” to counter Jio, Airtel

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Idea Cellular is all set to foray into the digital services space by launching a slew of application across segment such as movies, TV, music, games and others on December 30. With this move, the company is transforming itself into a full-fledged digital solutions company, which will be called, “Digital Idea”.


The latest move is aimed at countering 4G entrant Reliance Jio Infocomm, which already offers a gamut of digital applications free of cost to its entire subscriber base. India's leading telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, too offers a number of content and utility applications to its customers.

India's second largest telecom operator, Vodafone India, has recently launched Vodafone Play to offer entertainment content to its users.

In an invite to media, Idea Cellular's managing director Himanshu Kapania said, "As we leapfrog from being a voice and data services provider to becoming a full service digital solutions company, we continue to deliver on our promise of 'changing lives' and become the catalyst in fueling the Digital India movement.

"For a nation driven by entertainment, Idea is starting its Digital journey with the launch of a suite of apps across Movies, TV, Music, Games etc. among others to match the soaring demands of the “on- the- move” online generation," Kapania added.

Idea Cellular had earlier said that it was strongly placed to capitalize opportunity in entertainment and payments space. During its last investor presentation, it had said that it expected strong video demand to drive 60% of data traffic by 2020.

The Aditya Birla Group Company has already inked agreements to offer music and movie content to drive up data usage. It said that it will enhance VAS offerings by introducing its own range of branded digital content services across multiple categories, including entertainment, information, communication and utilities, and also offer a platform for third parties to launch consumer-centric applications.

Idea Cellular had last week informed the stock exchanges that it is planning to raise Rs 2,000 crore from the market by selling corporate bonds or issuance of unsecured Redeemable Non-Convertible Debentures (“NCDs”). The telco had earlier raised a total of Rs 3,000 crore through the same route. The investment will be used to fund 4G expansion in India.

Idea Cellular had acquired an additional 2×74.6 MHz spectrum in FDD technology on 1800 and 2100 bands, and 200 MHz spectrum in TDD technology on 2300 and 2500 bands during the spectrum sale in September 2016. It earlier said that it will expand 4G services to nine circles to take their wireless broadband footprint to 20 circles by March 2017.

The telco plans to add nearly 57,000 sites this year to enable the launch of 4G in circles of UP West, UP East, Gujarat, Mumbai, Bihar, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir where spectrum was acquired in the auctions ended last month.

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