Idea and Hutch, the global system for mobile service providers, yesterday commercially rolled out enhanced data rate for global evolution (EDGE) services. EDGE enables three times faster data services compared with prevailing data technology.
Subscribers will be able to browse internet through mobile phones, download streaming audio and video files and watch live television subscribing to the service.
With the revenue from voice-based services falling constantly, cellular companies are eyeing to compensate this by offering value-added services targeted towards high-end customers.
“We will target corporates and retail subscribers in metros and big cities,” Vikram Mehmi, CEO, Idea Cellular, said. He, however, said that being a premium service, EDGE would not bring any significant changes in revenue.
With the price of EDGE-enabled handsets falling, more and more subscribers would be hooked to this service, Mehmi said. At present, Nokia and Sony-Ericsson are offering EDGE-enabled handsets.
The entry level EDGE handset from Nokia is priced between Rs 7,500 to Rs 8,000. The entry level handset price is expected to drop further.
Hutch, with more than 2 lakh GPRS subscribers at present, aims to grab a larger share of the market. “ Priced at Rs 99 a month, our services will be popular among the users,” Harit Nagpal, chief marketing officer, Hutch, said.
In the initial phase, Idea will deploy EDGE services in Delhi and extend it to the rest eight circles in few weeks, company executives said.
Nokia, Ericsson and Siemens will provide technology and post-operational services. The company will invest Rs 1,200 crore in the 8 circles, where it is operational, Mehmi said.
The company has tied up with NDTV and Zee to make their channels available on the mobile phone.