Videocon’s Telecom Ambition: 4G by End of 2013 & Pan-India Expansion on Cards

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Indian conglomerate Videocon Group's mobile services have an ambition plan - to go ahead with 2G and 4G services, bypassing 3G services (which cost huge money for operators and now a headache due to lukewarm response). The company, which lost permits in 21 circles by court order, secured spectrum in 6 circles and now offers/will roll out services in total of 7 circles - Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh East and West.

Videocon 4G

There is constant updates from Videocon regarding its future plans for Indian telecom. The company plans to roll out 4G services on 1800MHz band, as they hold 5 MHz spectrum in each circle. Though the spectrum is very limited for simultaneous 2G and 4G services, the technology they are going to use is LTE-FDD on 1800 MHz band, which accounts for 44% of total LTE deployment across the globe; as a result Videocon will use more mature technology with better handset options & ecosystem. The company has plan to roll out its LTE/4G services on commercial basis by the end of 2013.

As Videocon has only 5 MHz spectrum for both 2G and 4G, the company plans to auto-allocation of spectrum for 4G during peak and off-peak hours. In peak hours Videocon can provide upto 9 Mbit/s over its upcoming LTE network and during off-peak hours speed may go upto 21Mbit/s.

Expansion - Pan India basis

Recently Mr. Arvind Bali, Director and CEO of Videocon Mobile Services announced they will trigger another round of tariff war as the company plans to offer voice and data at atleast 25% less compared to other operators in the market. As an initiative to make free roaming Videocon is now offering free incoming calls in its 7 circles for its customers without any special tariff vouchers.

Videocon right now is offering services in Punjab, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, and is geared up to roll out services in remaining three circles. The company aims to go pan India in next 2 years by phased manner and selecting area wise. Mr. Bali hinted it may choose south corridor for next expansion.

Our Take:
Videocon when launched its 2G services, it had a big ambition to reach 100 cities in a fastest roll out process. But soon the momentum lost and later their licenses got cancelled. Thogh Videocon offers very competitive tariff, on 4G it is a different game as Reliance Industries's subsidiary Jio Infocomm is going to hit the market with massive mass-marketing plans. Though Videocon group is quite close to Mukesh Ambani, it would be interesting how Videocon reacts.

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