December 2010
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Tata Docomo rolls out 3G services

“All active Tata DoCoMo SIM cards will automatically be 3G-enabled from midnight of November 4. For the first seven days, till November 11, 3G services would be offered free for customers.”

Bangalore: With the launch of ‘Tata DoCoMo 3G Life', Tata Teleservices became the first private player to unveil 3G services in the country. It plans to complete the roll-out across nine circles this year-end. The 3G services will be available from midnight on November 4, said Mr Anil Sardana, Managing Director, Tata Teleservices.

$500-m outlay The company plans a total outlay of $500 million for the total roll-out. Though it launched the services in all the nine circles where it has the 3G licence — Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh, Rajasthan, Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh (West), Punjab, Haryana and Maharashtra — simultaneously, Tata Teleservices hopes to complete the total rollout in these circles by end-2010.

“We have been able to complete the ramp-up of our network to support 3G services due to the 3G-ready network we created at the time of our 2G launch itself last year,” he added. Tata DoCoMo's HSPA+ 3G network, supported by NTT DoCoMo, will enable high-speed Internet access with speeds up to 21.1 Mbps. The network also supports high-definition voice. Other features on offer include video SMS, video streaming, mobile television, high-speed data transfers, route-finder, live aarthi at religious shrines, etc.

“Today, we start furthering our goals of innovation, keeping in pace with Tata Group's recent trends of innovation,” said the Tata Group Chairman, Mr Ratan Tata, in a video telecast at the event.

Mr Deepak Gulati, Executive President – Mobility Business Division, Tata Teleservices, said that there would be fewer call-drops too. The aim is to “give Internet the power of mobility and give millions the power of Internet,” he added.

According to him, over 50 mobile handset models are currently 3G-enabled now, and these models would be available in the over 4,000 3G Life zones, set up by the company, across the country, which will act as experience zones for customers.

“All active Tata DoCoMo SIM cards will automatically be 3G-enabled from the midnight of November 4. For the first seven days, till November 11, 3G services would be offered free for our customers,” said Mr Gulati.

Working on tariff

The company is currently working on the tariff for 3G services, and plans to announce it before November 11. “We wanted to understand what people want to use the most, and then we will talk about pricing,” said Mr Sardana.

With these circles, the company hopes to cover 51 per cent of towns in the country with a population of over a million and 60 per cent of towns with over half-a-million population. “We are in talks with players outside the circles of launch,” said Mr Sardana.

“If Tatas were given a level-playing field, we could be ahead of the pack in telecom too,” he said, referring to the denial of 2G spectrum to the company in Delhi. “We continue to feel the void, and we have taken a legal recourse,” said Mr Sardana.

Company officials also said that they were working with NTT DoCoMo on the long-term evolution (LTE) technology, and hoped that the commercial development of the technology will be completed by end-2010.

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