Tata DoCoMo has revealed plans to launch its third-generation (3G) services in India by this Diwali, i.e, by Nov. 5, 2010.
This will make the company the first private telecoms service provider in the country to roll out 3G services (state-owned MTNL and BSNL both unveiled 3G offerings about a year ago).
No concrete information is currently available on the expected pricing of Tata DoCoMo’s new 3G services. But a spokesperson for Tata Teleservices Limited, the parent company of Tata DoCoMo, was quoted as telling MediaNama that the pricing will be “reasonable.”
3G enables high speed data and voice transfer and is especially useful for enjoying services such as video conferencing, video streaming, Internet TV, etc. on the move.
As you might recall, TTL’s GSM telecoms platform – a joint venture between TTL and Japan’s NTT DoCoMo – had earlier this year acquired 3G spectrum in nine of the total 22 circles in India. These circles are: Maharashtra & Goa, Gujarat, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab, Haryana, Uttar Pradesh (West), Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh-Chattisgarh.
What about roaming agreements? Will Tata DoCoMo concentrate on USB data card services, or cell phone VAS? Well, all the TTL spokesperson disclosed was that “a fair amount” of pacts have been signed to launch the 3G services in tie-ups with handset and VAS providers.
It’s interesting to note that Tata DoCoMo does not have access to 3G spectrum in Delhi and Mumbai, the two most lucrative telecoms circles in India. There was earlier some talk of the firm sharing 3G spectrum in these circles with government-owned telco MTNL, which owns the sole spectrum rights for these markets. No concrete information, though, on that front.
Still, one can expect a fairly solid array of services from Tata DoCoMo this festive season, considering that NTT DoCoMo is the world’s first telecoms operator to offer 3G services (and is close to rolling out 4.5G).
Deepak Gulati, executive president, mobility business division at Tata DoCoMo, told The Economic Times that NTT DoCoMo will provide technical knowhow to Tata DoCoMo’s 3G network and will eventually bring 3G services it offers in
Japan to India. These services include i-modeTM, cell phone payment and location based VAS.
Tata DoCoMo will also take network assistance from Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturer Huawei across five circles, with Nokia Siemens Networks providing support across four circles.
By planning to become the first private telco to offer 3G services in India, Tata DoCoMo is clearly looking get the first mover advantage.
Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Vodafone will probably launch their 3G offerings by the end of the year, but haven’t yet announced launch dates. Both Airtel and RCom have won 3G spectrum in 13 of the 22 telecoms circles, while Vodafone Essar has spectrum in nine circles.