Hutchison Essar has acquired the telecome service licenses for West Bengal and Sikkim. With this development, the JV’s footprint in the country grows spanning over 13 circles including Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Haryana, Rajasthan, Punjab, UP East, UP West and West Bengal & Sikkim.
Dwelling on the acquisition of the West Bengal & Sikkim license, Sandip Das, Executive Director, Hutchison Essar, said: "The wireless teledensity in West Bengal is at 0.48%. It represents a significant opportunity for growth. This acquisition is an important part of our expansion into Eastern India. We are currently building up the cellular network and will shortly launch Hutch services in these two states."
Part of Hutchison Whampoa Group – a diversified, multinational conglomerate, Hutchison Essar had doubled its national subscriber base from two million in 2002 to four million in 2003. The joint venture, providing cellular services under two brands – Hutch and Orange, enjoys a subscriber base of nearly four million people across the country.
However, the group is currently investing Rs 1,800 crore to strengthen its national cellular infrastructure, IT backbone, customer service network and offer innovative value-added services that would help maintain its ARPU (average revenue per subscriber) leadership.