Idea Cellular has launched its 4G network and became the third operator in the country to offer 4G service. Apart from pure data service, Idea is offering bundle 4G devices and digital content to its 4G subscribers. Though unlike Reliance Jio who has its own arsenal of self branded digital media apps (Jio beats, Jio play, Jio mags), Idea has taken the shorter route by partnering with existing media apps like Eros now for Movies and videos, Hungama digital for Music and Opera for digital games.
4G Smartphones and Devices
Idea noted that currently there are over 1.8 million 4G devices in 4 southern circles are registered on Idea’s network and growing at an exponential rate. To facilitate seamless upgrade, the operator is offering Idea branded 4G devices. Idea 4G Netsetter Dongles for Rs.2599, Idea 4G Mi-Fi (connects 10 users) for Rs.3699 and Home Wi-Fi (connects 32 users) for Rs.4999. Idea has also announced special promotional offer for consumers upgrading to new 4G smartphones,. Both prepaid and postpaid customers buying new 4G smartphones before 31st March 2016 are being offered special Double Data benefit on all 1 GB and above packs (The core data is usable on 4G, 3G or 2G platform but the promotional double data is only usable on Idea 4G LTE network).
For 4G smartphones, Idea has partnered with market leader Samsung for special offers on its 4G Smartphones. Also tied up with popular smartphone manufacturers including Intex Technologies, Lava, Lenovo and Xolo to offer bundled 4G data plans on smartphones. On E-commerce front, Idea has partnered with Snapdeal, for providing exciting bundled data offers on 4G devices sold on their website. Idea is also rolling out a Smartphone E-store on its website. Consumers can now buy all leading 4G Smartphone brands, Mi-Fi and Dongles through the site.
Digital Content for 4G consumers
Idea made the first foray in the digital space and launching digital content in partnership with India’s leading content aggregators. Idea has tied-up with 'Hungama Digital' to offer Music content for all its consumers at a monthly subscription price of Rs. 99. Under a special offer, new 4G subscribers can subscribe to this content at Rs. 29 per month till 31st March 2016. Idea will also launch ‘Ultimate Plans’ which provide a Bundle of 4G Data, Unlimited Voice calls and Content subscription.
Idea is offering a wide library of Movies and short format Videos in partnership with 'EROS Now' at a monthly subscription price of Rs. 49 for all its consumers. For new 4G customers, a special offer for subscription at just Rs. 29 per month till 31st March 2016 is available. Idea will be launching ‘Idea Games Club’ powered by Opera for all its consumers from 1st February 2016, at a monthly subscription price of Rs. 150. New 4G subscribers will be able to subscribe to this content at Rs. 29 per month till 31st March 2016 under a special offer.
Idea 4G LTE network Infrastructure
Idea said that it has rolled out its FDD platform enabled 4G LTE services on the 1800 MHz frequency band, which is supported by the majority of 4G handsets available in the market. Idea's 4G LTE Network will be equipped with the enhanced ‘Fast Return’ feature enabling seamless and quick toggle for consumers across Idea’s 4G, 3G and 2G networks. Even though the company possesses the capability to introduce VoLTE feature, it will be evaluated only at a later stage.
Idea is deploying state-of-the-art, ‘Single RAN’ equipment which supports multiple technologies in a given frequency band. For every 4G site on 1800 MHz, this equipment also provides additional 2G voice capacity on GSM spectrum. In this fiscal year, Idea plans to add 40,000 – 45,000 sites on 2G, 3G and 4G technology platforms, complete a cumulative roll out of 111,000 kms of Fibre, and add an incremental 175-200 million population to the Mobile Broadband (3G & 4G) Population Coverage.