Aircel to launch 3G services in Q1 next year,invest $500 mn

"The company will launch 3G services in the first quarter (January-March quarter) of next year," Aircel COO Gurdeep Singh told reporters here.The company will invest USD 500 million in the first year of launch of 3G services. For the entire 2G and 3G it will invest a little over USD 1 billion. It hopes to finalise the equipment manufacturer by next week.

The firm, which currently has a subscriber base of 45 million, targets to increased it to 75 million by next year out of which 10 per cent will come from the 3G services.

Initially the company will launch 3G in top 10 cities of each circle and then will cover the rest of the states in which it has received spectrum.

In the country Aircel had already doled out its plans to double its subscriber base and invest USD 5 billion in its network over the next three to five years.The company had won spectrum for 13 new circles across India. These include Delhi (Metro), Mumbai (Metro), Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra & Goa, Rajasthan, Punjab, UP (West) and UP (East).

The Aircel Group is a joint venture between Maxis Communications and India's Apollo Hospital Enterprise, with Maxis Communications holding a majority stake of 74 per cent

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