Russian services conglomerate Sistema has announced that its Indian subsidiary Shyam Telelink has launched a CDMA-based 800MHz mobile network in the circle of Rajasthan; commercial services will be offered under the brand name ‘Rainbow’. Shyam has reportedly installed 833 base stations in the state covering approximately 35 million people, and the operator intends to extend its reach to 47-50 million by March 2009. Vsevolod Rozanov, president and CEO of Shyam, said, ‘The launch of the Shyam Telelink network in the state of Rajasthan is our first step in developing a pan-Indian mobile network…we will develop this project with the intention to gain a significant market share in the telecommunication industry in India in next three to four years. We will launch our Shyam Telelink network in two more Indian circles in the first quarter of 2009.’
In related news, The Economic Times of India is reporting that Sistema has set aside USD1.5 billion for 2009 to build its pan-India CDMA network. Sistema’s chairman, Vladimir Evtushenkov, claimed, ‘We have already invested USD1 billion in Shyam and will further invest over USD1.5 billion in the company next year. This marks the beginning of the expansion of Shaym Telelink’s pan-Indian mobile network. The company intends to provide its services to more than 35 million subscribers by 2012.’ The report also suggests that Shyam is considering offering GSM-based services, and has applied for spectrum.