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Aircel plans to invest Rs 700 cr in gujarat
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Announcing the launch of its GSM services in Gujarat, Aircel, a part of Maxis Communications Berhad, Malaysia, said that the company will be investing in all Rs700 crore in the circle by 2013. Of these, the telecom operator has already invested about Rs300 crore and plans to infuse another Rs400 crore in the next 2-3 years.

With the launch of prepaid and postpaid GSM services in Gujarat, Aircel also launched for the first time in the country PocketApps Store in association with Infosys. Through Aircel PocketApps Stores, the company will offer consumers in Gujarat and other circles several applications with both universal and circle wise touch. “An application store has to be democratised wherein they are applicable on all kinds of handsets including web-based, mobile-based, SMS-based, and voice-based. Eventually, we will have 70 per cent universal applications and 30 per cent state/circle specific applications,” said Gurdeep Singh, Chief Operating Officer, Aircel.

For a weekly charge of Rs7, you can download as many free applications as you want which could be from tracking your expenses, monitoring your fitness, scanning restaurant menus to reading newspapers in regional languages or even getting road directions.

Talking about the company’s Gujarat launch, Singh said, “There are around 2,400 cell sites in Gujarat which we intend to take up to 4,000 by 2011. We have already invested Rs300 crore in the state and will take it up to Rs700 crore by 2013.”

In Gujarat, Aircel will be focusing on three groups, namely youths, small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and dependents. “Among youths we are targeting the age group of 14 years to 35 years. In dependents, we hope to cater to families, for instance, who intend to have a common billing for all subscribers within the family,” Singh added.

Aircel has also launched Pocket Internet cards which offer subscribers unlimited browsing for a period of 30 days at Rs98, three days at Rs14 and a one day pack at Rs5, respectively.

“With mobile penetration of 50 per cent and Internet penetration of eight per cent in Gujarat, there are a lot of segment based needs that an operator can fulfill for better consumer satisfaction. We want to be a data leader in Gujarat,” Singh added.

While currently the company has opened four stores with one each in Ahmedabad, Vadodara, Surat and Rajkot, Aircel will open in all 25 stores in Gujarat by December 2010.
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