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Idea to spend Rs 600 crore on network

BS Economy Bureau in New Delhi | July 18, 2003 10:12 IST

Idea Cellular is planning to invest around Rs 600 crore (Rs 6 billion) across its five circles in the current financial year.

The company, which offers mobile services in Delhi, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh, also expects its revenues to go up 50 per cent this year. Its earnings stood at Rs 800 crore (Rs 8 billion) at the end of March 2003.

Sukanta Dey, chief marketing and commercial officer, Idea Cellular, said the funds would be used to upgrade its networks in the different circles.

Meanwhile, Idea Cellular on Thursday launched its Global SMS service. This will allow Idea customers to send and receive short messages from across the world from any technology platform  - global standard for mobiles, code division multiple access or satellite phones.

This means an Idea subscriber can send SMS even to a Reliance and Tata Teleservices WLL limited mobility users.  This was not possible until now as there was no compatibility between CDMA and GSM standards.

Global SMS will be made available in both the pre-paid and post-paid categories.

The company is also planning to introduce other SMS-based applications like group SMS and corporate SMS.

"There is huge potential in messaging that is waiting to be tapped. The number of SMSs being sent in India is much lower compared to countries like China or even the Philippines. The revenues from such value-added services is expected to move up from 3 per cent at present to 20 per cent," Dey said.

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