Bangalore, Nov 3 (IANS) Tata Docomo Wednesday became the first private telecom player to launch the third-generation (3G) service in this tech hub, with a phased rollout in nine circles across the country from Friday.
‘We have chosen Bangalore city as the launch pad for our 3G services, which will also be available across nine circles from Friday in phases. We will complete the nationwide launch by December,’ Tata Teleservices Ltd managing director Anil Sardana told reporters here on the occasion.
The mobile operator is also in talks with other service providers in circles where it does not have spectrum for 3G service to its subscribers.
‘We are investing about $500 million (Rs.2,250 crore) for the 3G rollout in all the nine circles where we have secured airwaves in an all-India bid early this year (May),’ Sardana said.
Tata Tele paid Rs.5,864 crore for the airwaves in nine circles spanning Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh-Chattisgarh, Punjab, Rajasthan and Uttar Pradesh (West).
Among the operators, state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has already launched its 3G service in Karnataka, while the Mahanagar Telecom Nigam Ltd (MTNL) unveiled in Mumbai and New Delhi early this year.
Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance, Tata, Idea, Aircel and S Tel are the seven private telecos which bagged the spectrum in various circles (22) for rolling out the 3G services at a combined cost of Rs.67,719 crore ($15 billion) in an elaborate e-auction that lasted 34 days and 183 rounds during April-May.
‘Powered by technology support from its Japanese partner NTT Docomo, our 3G services will change the way consumers use mobile phones, riding on the back of new products, applications and services,’ Sardana noted.
As a trial offer, the company is offering one-week free trial for its 2G customers to try out its 3G services from Friday and will announce tariff plans for both pre-paid and post-paid connections by Nov 11.
The 3G offering includes applications such as video-SMS, video-streaming, mobile television (50 channels), ultra-high-speed data transfers and route-finder.
‘Our 3G services will enable richer communication through video calls and SMS, adding the advantage of mobility to the power of the Internet,’ executive president Deepak Gulati said.