India’s third Largest Cellular operator, Idea Cellular just a while ago has launched Wi-Fi based Wireless Broadband services in Hyderabad, Pune, Ahmedabad, Cochin and Vizag. This comes as as surprise as until the recent conference call, management didn’t speak a word about the same. However, looking at the launch I note that all the 5 cities fall under circles where Idea Cellular has won 3G Spectrum on its own. So it could be that while upgrading the 2G BTS to 3G they have made network provisions for Wi-Fi based end user services. Alternatively, they could have deployed Tikona WiBro kind of solution [More Details Awaited]
Idea Wifi Broadband Cheaper than 3G Data Plans
Even if you consider the best 3G data Plan is available at Rs 100 / GB, Idea’s WiFi Broadband will be at Rs 26 / GB [1299 for 50 GB]. This is also cheaper than Airtel’s DSL Broadband which provides just 30 GB of Free usage at 1 Mbps at the same cost of Rs 1,299.
Idea WiFi is indeed Tikona like Citywide WiFi coverage. Roll-out coincides with 3G Circles based on the fact that Idea bid for 3G in circles where it is within the Top 3 in Revenue Market Share and the same Logic stands extended to Wi-Fi roll-out as well. More details on the Network were divulged on who were the equipment vendors, etc but can’t really discuss it here.