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Reliance Communications Launch 3G in India

Fri 17 Dec, 2010 // Firstnumber Team
Indian Mobiles

On Monday Reliance Communications' share price rose by some 2.5% following their announcement that 3G mobile phone services would be provided to four of India's largest cities; Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, and Chandigarh.  By the end of trading, stock prices had maintained a 2% increase.

The company, India's second largest mobile carrier, has ambitions to roll-out the service to 13 telecoms zones by the end of next year. The move comes just over 3 months after the company was awarded wireless spectrum in the area at an auction which began on April 9th 2010. Following the initial provision of 3G by Tata Docomo in November, Reliance are the second private firm to do so in the country.

In preparation for the auction earlier this year, India was divided into 22 telecoms zones, 13 of which have been acquired by Reliance Communications. Of the 7 telecoms firms involved in the auction, which lasted over a month and required 183 rounds of bidding, it was Bharti Airtel, Reliance and Aircel who have come out on top in terms of circles gained. The latter however, did not acquire access to the most lucrative region of Delhi.

With network speeds of up to 28 Mbps available, the service is capable of hosting VoIP communications, as well as mobile television and video streaming. The development of mobile phone internet access will benefit this country significantly. Currently, voice calls account for almost 90% of companies revenue; the improvements in data sharing and non-voice interaction will diversify and enhance data revenue.

Reliance chief executive of wireless business, Syed Safawi, commented on the potential ROI for the company:

“Non-voice revenue should go up to 30% for the industry in the years to come. We should be at the higher end of this.”

Currently it is believed that non-voice activity accounts for approximately 12-13% of revenue.

The latest development is a significant step in India's march towards a “Wirefree India”, according to Safawi. The provision of a universal and affordable (Reliance charges Rs 199 for rental in comparison with the Rs 350 demanded by rival firm Tata Docomo) 3G platform represents a major expansion of the country's overall communicative capabilities, and demonstrates the ever-increasing prowess of India within the telecommunications marketplace.

If you're planning on calling India, why not take a look at our cheap international call rates starting from only 1p per minute.

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