India’s third largest mobile operator by subscribers, Idea Cellular, has launched 4G services in 28 towns across the Maharashtra and Goa circles, in a move which expands its LTE network to encompass ten circles, reports the Economic Times. ‘Starting 23 December 2015, we have rapidly expanded 4G LTE services across these ten markets in just three months,’ commented Ambrish Jain, Idea’s deputy managing director, adding: ‘We have revised our CAPEX guidance for financial year 2016 from INR65 billion to INR75 billion [USD971 million to USD1.1 billion], mainly on account of accelerated 4G CAPEX and associated fibre rollout and are fully geared up to grow our presence, strengthen our portfolio and make more people join the digital bandwagon.’ With existing LTE coverage encompassing more than 300 towns, Idea is expecting to increase this to 750 by the end of June 2016.
As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, in January 2016 Idea launched LTE services in three new circles – Madhya Pradesh, Punjab and Haryana – adding to its existing footprint of Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Kerala, where the 4G platform was inaugurated in late December 2015. Further, in February 2016 Idea selected Swedish vendor Ericsson to deploy a 4G LTE network in selected telecom circles serving over 40 million customers. The contract covers equipment, software and a range of professional services for LTE for a two-year period.