Business services focus for Vodafone Essar in run-up to 3G launch

In the face of strong competition to its commercial mobile business, Vodafone Essar is attempting to make inroads into India’s fixed-line arena, as well as incorporating business services into its strategy.

The director of the operator’s Enterprise and Carrier business was quoted in India’s Economic Times saying: “we are a late entrant in the business, but that puts us in an advantageous position of nothing to lose.”

Within five years, enterprise services are expected to make up roughly a fifth of Vodafone’s revenue in India. A similar focus on enterprise services has been adopted by the operator’s parent company, Vodafone Group –the firm’s Vodafone Global Enterprise saw revenue from this business rise by 6% in the final quarter of 2010.

Vodafone Essar is also currently running 3G network pilots, and is aiming to make commercial services available “by March”. Rather than a unified nationwide or region-wide network, 3G deployments will be specific to individual cities.

This official announcement lends credence to reports that the operator was aiming for a 3G launch in the first quarter of 2011; several such reports also indicated that Vodafone Essar is attempting to establish spectrum-sharing agreements with rival operators.

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