Vodafone looking to increase 4G footprint in India

Vodafone India is aiming to extend its 4G service to a further eight service areas by March 2017.

The operator, which takes second place with a 19% share of the market, currently provides 4G in nine of India’s 22 telecom circles, covering major metropolitan areas including Delhi, Kolkata and Mumbai.

Vodafone is looking to increase its 4G user base to over a million by the end of the year, which would mean 4G subscribers constituted around a fifth of its total base.

Last month’s spectrum auctions saw Vodafone spend more than any other Indian operator, shelling out INR203 billion (around $3 billion) to catch up to its rivals by establishing a 4G presence in 17 regions. It obtained spectrum in the 1.8, 2.1 and 2.5GHz bands, of both FDD and TDD strands. Market leader Bharti Airtel and newcomer Reliance Jio both hold 4G spectrum in all 22 telecom circles.

Sunil Sood, Vodafone India MD & CEO, said that the firm’s newly-acquired spectrum would allow it to launch SuperNet 4G services across the eight new service area, reaching 2,400 towns by the end of the fiscal year  – substantially more than the 1,000 towns previously announced.

September saw Vodafone funnel over $7 billion into its Indian unit in order to slash its debt by over 50% and ready it for October’s spectrum auction.

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