Aircel invests $400m in new kit

James Middleton

October 13, 2008

1 Min Read
Aircel invests $400m in new kit

Indian operator Aircel has sigend a deal worth $400m with Chinese infrastructure vendor ZTE to expand its GSM coverage.

Aircel, majority owned by Malaysia’s largest telecoms operator Maxis, has an estimated 13.6 million subscribers according to Informa Telecoms & Media making it the country’s fifth placed carrier.

Aircel has ten operational networks running in India, with a further 11 planned or in deployment, leaving eight remaining potential licences up for grabs across the country.

India is growing at a staggering rate. It is the second most populous country in the world, and is expected – if current growth trends continue – to overtake China before the middle of this century. It is a young country; of the estimated 1.14 billion people living in India at present, about 40 per cent are under 15 years of age and 54 per cent are under 24. The median age is 25 years old.

The economy is diverse, though characterised at the moment by a booming services sector, boosted in no small part by the ranks of firms from ‘developed’ markets taking advantage of the cost savings associated with outsourcing and off-shoring their operations to the subcontinent.

The economic strength of India and Indians is undoubtedly on an upward curve, though ARPU is low by Western standards ranging from $4.60-$8.90 per month according to Informa Telecoms & Media’s World Cellular Information Service. Falling ARPU figures in India though are compensated by surging growth. Penetration has more than doubled since June 2006 and stood at 21.67 per cent in March 2008. With 242 million mobile phone subscribers nationwide there is plenty more scope for growth.

About the Author(s)

James Middleton

James Middleton is managing editor of | Follow him @telecomsjames

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