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General News Idea Cellular expects to ink 4G ICR arrangements with Vodafone, to launch VoLTE..
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Idea Cellular expects to ink 4G ICR arrangements with Vodafone, to launch VoLTE in 2018

NEW DELHI: Idea Cellular said it expects to close the new 4G ICR arrangements with Vodafone India at the earliest for an additional 4G coverage in nearly 5,000 new towns and neighboring villages for each operator.

Idea and Vodafone had last month entered into an active Infrastructure sharing arrangement to avoid duplication of spends and make the best use of capital expenditure (capex). Both telcos have now started to enjoy expanded coverage from such shared sites.

Idea said that it is on course to introduce its own VoLTE – ‘Voice over LTE’ by early calendar year 2018.

As 4G adoption rate is ahead of initial company estimates primarily driven by affordable smartphones, expanding 4G coverage and world’s lowest ‘voice and mobile broadband tariffs’, almost all of Idea’s incremental network capital investments is allocated to 4G expansion (including fiber and capacity).

The 4G population under Idea's coverage has nearly tripled from 14.8% (~170 million) in the second quarter last year to 38.1% (~450 million), reflecting Idea’s aggressive intent to participate in emerging 4G consumer market.

In order to support the burgeoning demand of mobile broadband services, Idea has also increased its fibre backbone network by more than 50,000 kms (100,400 km in Q2FY16 to 150,500 km in the second quarter.

On overall terms Idea’s gross investment in fixed assets has now risen to over Rs 122.2 crore, a net addition of Rs. 486 billion (capex + spectrum) during the last 24 months. The capex spend for the current quarter was Rs. 19.7 billion, the telco said.

As industry operating tariffs tumble, voice and data volume growth partially compensated the steep rate fall. During this low demand period, Idea's sequential quarterly voice minutes grew by 1.7% to 255 billion minutes and mobile data volume (2G+3G+4G) witnessed strong sequential growth of 73.5% (on back of 99.1% growth in the first quarter) as Idea’s pan India data network carried 438.7 billion MB.

Idea said that the broadband data usage (3G+4G) has nearly doubled to 413 billion MB in the second quarter from 228.8 billion MB in the first quarter. While the total mobile data users on Idea network remained flat at 38.2 million, the broadband (3G+4G) subscribers increased by 3.2 million to 29.6 million in second quarter.

Source:
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Airtel Digital HD Recorder / Kerala Vision Digital TV
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