Idea Cellular launched its 3G services on its network in Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and Himachal Pradesh today. Idea has also unveiled a new 3G logo.
The third generation of mobile communication systems let customers use an extensive range of high-end data services on a wide variety of handsets and other devices.
Idea has set up ‘Experience Kiosks’ to provide a flavour of the services that customers can opt for. These will be available to all users at select ‘My Idea’ stores.
On the occasion of the 3G launch, Himanshu Kapania, deputy managing director, Idea Cellular, said, “3G services will mark the beginning of the next phase of India’s telecom growth story and bring the sector on par with the most advanced telecom markets in the world. Beginning today, Idea subscribers will be the first in India to experience the Gold Standard in 3G services.”
Currently, 10 per cent of Idea’s over 86 million subscribers are said to be using 3G enabled handsets. It is expected that these users will be the early adopters of 3G services.
Idea’s 3G services will be available in 200 towns by mid April, progressively growing at the rate of 10 towns per day to cover 750 towns by mid 2011, and 4,000 towns by the end of FY12.
Speaking about the 3G network rollout, Ambrish Jain, director, operations, Idea Cellular, said: “Beginning with MP, Chhattisgarh, Gujarat and HP, Idea’s 3G services will expand in a progressive manner to provide expansive coverage across 4,000 towns by year end. Idea will target areas of industrial and commercial activity, centres of learning, and high potential rural hinterlands where broadband is yet to make a breakthrough. Idea has set up the most extensive customer service network to educate customers on 3G and support their requirements, across the country.”
Idea’s 3G services will enable users to avail Video Conferencing, IdeaMall Application Store, Mobile TV, Video on Demand, and high-speed Internet Browsing.
IdeaMall is Idea’s Application Store which offers an entire catalogue of games and applications on Web and Mobile platforms.
With 3G, Idea users can do a range of things with ease such as downloading songs, watching videos on YouTube, audio, photo updates on Facebook, mail and other online media, movie downloads, watching mobile TV, e-mailing with attachments, blog postings, viewing photos, and Flash and HD Gaming.
Idea 3G, the teleco claims, will provide speed upto 21 Mbps on 3G handsets, and higher speed on other devices depending on the device capability.
Idea has introduced Time based billing plan for 3G services enabling users to avail high-end data services without worrying about the volume of usage. Applicable for both pre-paid and post-paid users, this plan offers three different plans. For Rs 45, a user gets 30 minutes of talktime with a validity of one day, while for Rs 80, the users get 60 minute of talktime for a three day validity. Another plan under this for Rs 150 provides 120 minutes of talktime for seven days of validity.
To promote usage, Idea has also, introduced ‘sachet’ pricing offering attractive trial packages with per day billing for pre-paid users.
Under this there are two plans including an Rs 8 package, under which a user gets 10 MB of free data with a validity of one day. While for Rs 51, a user could get 50 MB of free data with three day validity period.
Time based packages are applicable for both pre and post paid connections. For Rs 45, one would get 30 minutes of talktime for one day; for Rs 80 one would get 60 minutes of talktime over three days; and for Rs 150, users can get 120 minutes of talktime over seven days.
Applicable for both pre and post paid users, Data Rate cutter plan offer Rs 55 package. Under this, a user gets 30 days of validity and will be charged 1 paisa for 10 KB of data download.
Dongle tariffs, applicable for pre and post paid connections, have three different options. Users by paying Rs 599, can get 2 GB of free data.
For Rs 750, a user can get 5 GB of free data and for Rs 1275, users get 10 GB of data usage. Users will be charged five paisa for every 10 KB of extra usage under this.
To know more about Idea’s 3G services, and to check handset compatibility, customers can log onto the company’s website
Idea had won G Spectrum in 11 circles that includes MP and Chattisgarh, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra and Goa, Gujarat, Kerala, Haryana, UP East, UP West, AP, J&K and Punjab.