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Videocon forays into mobile services, lines up Rs 14k cr
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<img style="float:left; margin: 0px 10px 0px 0px;" src="http://static.expressindia.com/expressindia/newpic/mobile.jpg" />Chennai/New Delhi: Venugopal Dhoot-led Videocon Industries on Thursday launched its GSM mobile services in the country. The company began its services in Chennai, and with this launch, it became the 13th mobile operator in India. Dhoot said he planned to invest up to Rs 14,000 crore in the GSM business over the next three years.

Videocon has presence in oil and gas and DTH services apart from consumer electronics. The company plans to roll out services in 100 cities in as many days and the tariff rates are likely to be below one paisa.

Videocon’s entry into the already crowded market is likely to further exert a downward pressure on the already rock-bottom tariffs. The telecom industry is already increasingly facing a stiff pressure on the revenue growth and Ebidta margins.

Commenting upon the company’s future plans, Dhoot said, “We want to be among the top three service providers in the country within the next three years and to fulfill this, our plan is to invest Rs 14,000 crore in this business.”

Videocon, earlier known as Datacom, is among the new licensees which were controversially awarded the Unified Access Service licence (UASL) in 2007. Videocon has licences for all the 23 circles and plans to become a pan-India operator by September end. The company is currently in the process of setting up 70,000 base stations in the country, of which 3,000 are already operational in Tamil Nadu.

The company expects to post revenue of $3.8-4 billion by 2013.

“We have applied for licences and hope to get 3G services. But the investments will be decided after we get the licence,” Dhoot said. He said the company had applied for 3G licences in all circles, barring Mumbai and Delhi.

Within a fortnight, the company plans to roll out services in key cities across Punjab, Haryana, Gujarat, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh and Mumbai, Dhoot said.

Source: The Financial Express

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