India's third largest telecom operator, Idea Cellular announced that it has expanded its network to 260,000 sites across the country, with 50 percent sites dedicated to mobile broadband services.
The company said that it added nearly 50,000 broadband sites over the last 12 months period ending August '17, growing its broadband footprint to cover 5,888 Census towns and nearly 105,755 villages, reaching out to 45 percent population of the country.
It has set up an optical fiber network of approx. 150,000 route km to strengthen its wireless broadband services.
Anil Tandan, Chief Technology Officer, Idea Cellular said, "Achieving a footprint of 2.6 lakh sites is a major milestone in Idea's network growth journey - 50 percent of these sites are broadband. With aggressive capex infusion, 1 lakh sites have been erected by Idea in the last 2 years, and we will continue to invest in expanding our wireless broadband capacity to enable the company's Digital Idea plans."
The company is also planning to continue the rapid rollout of its pan-India wireless broadband network throughout this financial year with a capex of Rs. 6,000 crore.
According to Mr. Ambrish Jain, Deputy Managing Director, Idea Cellular, "The Indian telecom sector is fast transitioning from being a vehicle for delivering only connectivity to becoming the bedrock and foundation of high-speed broadband. This will enable faster internet adoption amongst Indians and drive growth for the critical sectors of the economy. The idea is fast transitioning from being a pure telecom services provider to an 'integrated digital services provider' to deliver on the Digital India mission."
Idea's 4G coverage has penetrated into the deep interiors of the country with villages having a population of 1,000 getting connected with 'India's Big 4G network'. The idea has also recorded 4G coverage in certain rural parts of the country where a population is below 100 people.