Telecom operator Videocon Mobile Services will roll out fourth generation (4G) services across all is newly-won circles next year.
Videcon had received spectrum across six circles – Uttar Pradesh (East), Uttar Pradesh (West), Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat and Haryana – in the recently concluded spectrum auction.
“We will get spectrum in January and we expect to roll out our LTE services in six circles by middle of 2013. We will have spectrum across seven circles (including Punjab) constituting a high population footprint in India. These are also the areas where we enjoy a strong position already and where we see the highest potential for continued growth and profitability,” Videocon Mobile Services Director and Chief Executive Officer Arvind Bali said.
The company, which had launched GSM operations in Punjab two years ago, will invest an additional Rs 800 crore for improving network coverage and deployment of technology over the next three years.
“We intend to cover 45 per cent of India’s population after rolling out services in these circles as these are the areas where we enjoy a strong position already and where we see the highest potential for continued growth and profitability. Our focus will be on youth and high end customers,” he said without divulging detail about investment proposed for this venture.
“The spectrum won by Videocon in the recent auction is paired and liberalised. This spectrum can be used to roll out next generation networks and services by adapting a highly spectrally efficient 4G technology LTE,” he added.
Unlike BWA spectrum winners who are launching LTE-TD on 2300MHz band Videocon has to deploy LTE-FDD on 1800MHz band which has better ecosystem. As per GSA report more than 33% of LTE roll outs are on 1800MHz. Videocon has only 5MHz spectrum – that means they have to use 1.4MHz x 2 for LTE-FDD rollout, and rest is probably for 2G voice services. It is easier for Videocon to offer LTE-FDD handsets with 2G compatibility to reach more people. But from its last performance (‘100 cities in 100 days’ promise was not a reality) it is highly doubtable when Videocon will bring LTE-FDD in India.