Vodafone India has started fourth generation (4G) network trials in selected areas, the company said on Friday. “We are now trialing 4G services across selected areas,” the company said.
In India, Bharti Airtel has been expanding its 4G footprint. Reliance Jio Infocomm is expected to come up with its 4G offer by 2015-end and Idea Cellular is likely to launch 4G services in select locations in 2016. The statement said Vodafone Group has 24.1 million 4G customers across 18 markets and 4G accounts for 35 percent of data traffic in European markets. “Our emerging markets have maintained their strong momentum and more of our European businesses are returning to growth, as customer demand for 4G and data takes off,” Vittorio Colao, group chief executive said.
The statement said data revenue grew 65 percent in India in the April-June quarter supported by the addition of 3.1 million new data customers, taking the total to 66.8 million. “Smartphone penetration is now 26 percent across the country and 47 percent in the four metro circles and we now have 22 million 3G customers compared to 10 million a year ago,” the statement said. “While total voice traffic continues to grow, the outgoing rate per minute has continued to decline, reflecting increased competition,” it added.
In India, Vodafone customers increased by 1.6 million giving a closing customer base of 185.4 million. The company said progress on Project Spring remained strong with 1,000 2G sites and 1,100 3G sites added in the quarter (14,000 2G and 21,000 3G since the build commenced), taking the 3G outdoor population coverage in targeted urban areas to 91 percent. Project Spring is an investment programme to accelerate and extend Vodafone’s strategy to focus on data, enterprise and emerging markets. Regarding its mobile wallet business, the statement said: “Now we have 501,000 active customers supported by 94,000 agents.”