The operator has already invested Rs 200 crore in the region, and will invest the remaining amount in the next two years. Idea Cellular announced its operations in Assam and will launch in the North East later this year.
Speaking to Telecom Yatra, Ambrish Jain, director, operations, Idea Cellular, says, "We will invest Rs 300 crore in Assam and North East over a span of three years." Jain further stated that of this amount, the company has already invested Rs 200 crore in one year and the rest will be invested in the next two years.
With this move, the company has expanded its network to 21 of the 22 telecom circles in India. The state of Assam has a teledensity of 22 per hundred population.
Idea's mobile telephony services at launch will be available in 13 districts of Assam - Barpeta, Bongaigaon, Cacher, Dibrugarh, Jorhat, Kamrup, Karbi Anglong, Kokrajhar, Nagaon, Nalbari, Sibsagar, Sonitpur and Tinsukia.
The mobile operator claims that it will double its network to 500 cell sites, mobile phone base stations that transmit radio signals to mobile phones, to cover 56 towns and 1400 villages in Assam, by March 2010. It will also set up a network of 450 cell sites in the North Eastern region during this period.
Idea's services in the remaining circle of North East, comprising of the six states of Nagaland, Manipur, Meghalaya, Mizoram, Tripura and Arunachal Pradesh will be launched later in the year.
Idea will establish several customer service centres and a retail network of exclusive stores in the region. The company claims that this retail and service network will grow to over 4,420 retail outlets and 35 exclusive showrooms in Assam, by March 2010.
Other operators who also have presence in Assam and North East are Vodafone and Reliance Communications.
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