Aircel to invest $5 bn for expansion

March 12th, 2009 - 10:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, March 12 (IANS) Telecom operator Aircel Thursday announced it will invest $5 billion over the next three to five years to expand its operations across the country.
Aircel, part of Malaysia-based Maxis Communications Bhd, will invest $1 billion this calendar year, and expects to nearly double the existing subscriber base of 17 million.

Launching Aircel’s GSM mobile services in Hyderabad, chief operating officer Gurdeep Singh told reporters that the telecom operator would expand its services in the next three-four weeks to Delhi NCR (national capital region), eastern and western parts of Uttar Pradesh and Mumbai.

“By April-end, we will launch our services in rest of Maharashtra, taking the total number of circles to 18,” he said.

“Hyderabad is the 13th circle where we have launched our services and with this we have completed our southern footprint,” Singh said.

Aircell would invest Rs.10 billion in two phases in its Hyderabad operations. “We will invest Rs.500 crore (Rs.5 billion) by mid-May and another Rs.500 crore by December this year,” he said.

“While the mobile penetration is about 80 percent in Hyderabad, there are a lot of segment-based needs that an operator can fulfil for better consumer satisfaction,” Singh added.

The fifth largest service provider in the country has its presence in Tamil Nadu, Assam, other northeast states, Orissa, West Bengal, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh Kerala and Karnataka.

The operator has 10 million subscribers in Tamil Nadu. It has five percent market share in the country.

“We had 16 million subscribers last year and we hope that the numbers would double this year (calendar year),” Singh said.

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