Airtel Has 2M 3G Users
Atul Bindal, President - Mobile Services, Bharti airtel stressed the 2 million user base (twice) while announcing roll outs in Andhra Pradesh yesterday. Airtel 3G will be available in AP starting with Hyderabad, Vishakapatnam and Vijayawada.
Airtel has rolled out 3G in Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai, Coimbatore, Mysore, Manipal, Udipi, Jaipur and Delhi NCR. It has 3G licenses for 13 circles and will launch 3G services in 500 cities and towns.
The company expects its various initiatives to aid in further growth - 3G and m-commerce in the form of its Airtel Money service will mean new revenue inflows. Mobile entertainment in the form of value added services and games are also included in this.
It continues to looking towards rural India for growing its userbase. Airtel currently adds 3.3 million customers per month and according to an investor presentation, more than half of this (55%) is from rural India. However, its ARPU continues to fall and as of Q3 2011, was at Rs 198. According to TRAI, Airtel has 20.20% of the market share.
3G offers higher speeds of mobile Internet, allowing users to watch Mobile TV, conduct video calls etc. Airtel has also launched something called High Definition (HD) gaming with games such as NFS Shift Super, FIFA11 and EACricket10.
In comparison, Idea Cellular announced that of its subscriber base of 86 million mobile subscribers as of February 2011, 5.5 million use 3G enabled handsets and are its target audience.