RCom plans major expansion in rural Tamil Nadu

August 25th, 2008 - 5:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Chennai, Aug 25 (IANS) Mobile telephony major Reliance Communications (RCom) plans to expand in rural areas in Tamil Nadu in a major way, a top official said here Monday.”We intend to expand our distribution reach to 13,500 villages out of the 15,000 in the state,” Ajay Awasthi, RCom chief executive for the Tamil Nadu circle told IANS on the sidelines of a media meet.

He said villages with a population of around 5,000 are being targeted, and RCom hopes to make about 10 sales every month in each village.

The company will start appointing around 100 distributors to reach at least 4,000 rural outlets.

“It could be any kind of an outlet. It could be a tailor shop, a grocery or a fertiliser and seed seller. The outlets will sell not only our mobile connections but also other products such as handsets, fixed wireless phones and even data cards,” Awasthi said.

RCom is also looking at the possibility of setting up Internet caf├ęs in villages.

The rural thrust is aimed at monetising the company’s network spread across the state. “We have now around 2,650 cell sites in Tamil Nadu,” he said.

In Tamil Nadu, it has a little over four million subscribers, 92 percent of which are prepaid connections. The average revenue per user is Rs.230, Awasthi said.

The company hopes to increase this with its new scheme for small and medium enterprise(SME) segment. under this scheme, calls to other Reliance phones will be free.

The average spend on mobile telephony by SMEs with around five employees is around Rs.700 per month per person.

While he declined to reveal the target for new subscriber enrolment under the new scheme, Awasthi ruled out migration to the latest scheme by existing subscribers.

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