RCom eyes 3G services roll out by early next year

Mumbai: Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group (ADAG)-controlled Reliance Communications (RCom) expects to roll out third generation (3G) services by this year-end or early next year, reports PTI.

"We expect that the government will allocate spectrum by September, following which we will start the roll out by year-end or early next year," Reliance Communications' president, Mahesh Prasad, told reporters on the sidelines of a press meet here today.

RCom has got the license to offer 3G services in 13 key circles including Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata.

"Its premature to talk about the services offered under 3G," Mr Prasad said, adding that worldwide 3G took 4-5 years to sink in.

Replying to a query on average revenue per use (ARPU) after the 3G roll out, Mr Prasad said "ARPU does not get lifted that quickly. During the last two quarters tariffs were highly irrational in the country."

Meanwhile, in its preparation for the 3G launch, RCom said it has entered into an exclusive strategic partnership with the world's leading music company, Universal Music.

The agreement between Reliance Communications and Universal Music has been signed with a commitment of substantial investments to be made by both parties to offer a 360 degree music experience to customers across all platforms including Voice, WAP, Web, IVR, Blog & through On-Ground Events.

The agreement with Universal is a prelude to RCom's 3G launch, since music offers the potential to provide the best consumer experience on the 3G network, the company said.

RCom's agreement with Universal Music is in line with similar deals signed by the conglomerate with other global operators across the globe including with UK Orange, SingTel, Digi Malaysia, Bouygues Telecom, France Orange, Belgium Base and other eastern European operators.

RCom and Universal Music will also arrange exclusive Indian concerts with Shaan, Sunidhi Chauhan, Mohit Chauhan and others. The partners will also line-up international concert with contemporary pop singers currently ruling the billboard charts world-wide, it said.

"Our exclusive partnership with Universal Music is among the tie-ups crafted for our customers as a part of RCom's 3G launch.

The Universal partnership will be leveraged to launch Simply Music Initiative for our 110-million mobile customers with an all round, never-before music experience across multiple channels and extended to 3G customers at its launch.

The Simply Music Initiative will keep the customer engaged on an on-going basis by providing exclusive and differentiated music content," Mr Prasad said.


L&T bags Hyderabad Metro Rail project

Hyderabad: The Andhra Pradesh government today decided to award the Rs12,132 crore Hyderabad Metro Rail Project to Larsen and Toubro Limited (L&T).

The state Cabinet, which met here today under the chairmanship of chief minister K Rosaiah, approved the recommendations of a three-member committee to award the project to L&T that has emerged as the lowest bidder.

L&T has sought Rs1,458 crore as Viability Gap Funding (VGF)-a one-time grant from the government to infrastructure projects undertaken through public private partnerships (PPPs). The VGF amount would be released by the Government of India while the AP government would spend Rs1,980 crore towards acquisition of 204 acres of land at two places in Hyderabad as well as relief and rehabilitation of the affected people.

The state government would release Rs500 crore as the first instalment in the current financial year, according to minister for information J Geeta Reddy.

L&T would form a special purpose vehicle (SPV) and enter into a concession agreement with the state government within a month of the Letter of Award (LoA). It would have to provide a bank guarantee of Rs360 crore as performance security and achieve financial closure in six months, the minister said.

Ground work for the project was scheduled to commence in January 2011, she added.

The project would be completed in five years, covering three high-density traffic corridors over a 70 km route.

The traffic demand per day is estimated to be 15 lakh passengers in 2014, which will go up to 22 lakh in 2024.


RCom partners with Universal Music for 3G launch

Telecom operator Reliance Communications Ltd (RCom) said it partnered with Universal Music to offer music-related services and content across its GSM, CDMA, 3G Mobile and Wireless Broadband platforms including Voice, WAP, Web, IVR, blog and through on-ground events.

RCOM has got the license to offer 3G services in 13 key circles including Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata, it said in a release.

On Wednesday, RCom shares ended 1.3% higher to Rs176 on the Bombay Stock Exchange, while the Sensex closed 0.6% up at 18,217 points.


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