Aircel for aggressive network expansion in JK

Will cover 200 towns, 2000 Km Highway in 3 months; Plans to open 5000 retail outlets this year

Greater Kashmir / Arif Haleem
Publish Date: May 31 2007 12:00PM
Jammu, May 30: After crossing the impressive milestone of one lakh customers in J&K, Aircel, the second private cellular service provider in the state, is all set to take its services to all the 22 districts of J&K within next three months. In an exclusive chat with GK Business, CEO Aircel, North-East Zone, Rohit Chandra said the company which is the market leader in North East, Assam, Chennai and Tamil Nadu, was set to provide cellular service to all the 22 districts of the state within three months. “300 towers have already been installed in different parts of the state and in the coming three months 150 more towers will be installed to enable the company to cover the remaining areas of the state,” Chandra said. Aircel started its operations in the state in 2006 and within two years the cellular company crossed the figure of one lakh customers in the state. Chandra said the Aircel was planning to extend its reach to more than 200 towns and cover over 2000 kilometres of the state. “In coming months we will cover important parts of the state including Leh, Ladakh, Rajouri and Poonch,” Rohit said He said the Aircel had obtained 14 new licences to roll out its GSM cellular service, besides the licence to provide International Long Distance (ILD) and National Long Distance (NLD) telephony service. “Aircel has also secured spectrum for Kolkata and has plan to launch its operations during 2007,” he said. He said the Aircel had also got the contract, Universal Service Obligation (USO) from the Department Of Telecommunication (TOD), to provide cellular service to all the far off areas of the state. “As per the contract the cellular service to these far flung areas will be provided in next six months,” he said, adding that the project would benefit the people of the state living in the areas where no cellular service had been provided by any of the cellular service provider. Chandra who is a communication engineer from the Aligarh Muslim University said the day was not far when the Aircel would become one the largest cellular service providers in the state. “We believe in providing superior services to our customers. We are seriously looking to expand our network by increasing the width and depth of our coverage for JK customers,” he said, adding that Aircel was the first operator to roll out at 100 per cent EDGE (3G Technology) enabled network in the region. Aircel is also planning to open more than 5000 retail outlets this year over and above to its exclusive branded sale outlets called “Cell City” and “Cell City Zone” in J&K.