India’s second largest mobile operator Vodafone India announced plans to launch 4G service in eight additional service regions by next March.
The operator, with a 19 per cent market share, already offers LTE service in nine regions, including Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. It aims to have more than one million 4G users by the end of the year, representing 20 per cent of its total subscriber base. India has 22 service regions.
Sunil Sood, MD and CEO of Vodafone India, said it will use the new spectrum to launch its SuperNet 4G services in 2,400 towns across the eight additional service areas by the end of this fiscal year, instead of 1,000 towns as announced earlier, the Economic Times reported.
In last month’s spectrum auction, Vodafone was the top bidder, spending INR203 billion (about $3 billion) to expand its 4G coverage to 17 regions to close the gap on rivals Bharti Airtel and 4G newcomer Reliance Jio, which both have 4G spectrum in all of the country’s 22 service areas.
Vodafone acquired 2×82.6MHz of FDD and 200MHz of TDD spectrum in the 1.8, 2.1 and 2.5GHz bands.
In September Vodafone Group injected more than $7 billion into its India subsidiary, reducing its debt by half and preparing it for the auction.
The country’s top operators are facing intensifying competition following Jio’s nationwide 4G launch in September.