AIRCEL INDIA


Type Joint Venture
Industry Mobile telecommunications
Founded 1999
Headquarters Chennai, India
Key people Sandip Das, CEO
Gurdeep Singh, COO
Products Mobile
Telecommunication operator
Parent Maxis Communications (74%)
Apollo Hospital (26%)
Website Aircel.com
Aircelbusinesssolutions.com

Aircel group is a mobile phone service provider in India. It offers both prepaid and postpaid GSM cellular phone coverage throughout India. Aircel is a joint venture between Maxis Communications of Malaysia and Apollo Hospital Enterprise Ltd of India. UTSB has a 74% stake in Aircel and the remaining 26% is with Apollo Hospitals. It is India’s Seventh largest GSM mobile service provider with a subscriber base of over 51.83 million, as of January 31, 2011. It has a market share of 6.72% among the GSM operators in the country. As on date, Aircel is present in all 23 telecom circles (including Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar & Jharkhand, Chennai, Delhi & NCR, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Madhya Pradesh, Mumbai, North East, Orissa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Rest of Maharashtra & Goa, Rest of Tamil Nadu, Rest of West Bengal, Uttar Pradesh East, Uttar Pradesh West) as per the company plans to become a pan-India operator by 2010. Additionally, Aircel has also obtained permission from Department of Telecommunications (DoT) to provide International Long Distance (ILD) and National Long Distance (NLD) telephony services. It also has the largest service in Tamil Nadu.

3G & BWA

On 19 May 2010, the 3G spectrum auction in India ended. Aircel paid Indian Rupee ₹ 6499.46 crores for spectrum in 13 circles – the least cost per circle compared to other operators. The circles it will provide 3G in are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, North East, Orissa Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (East) & Uttarakhand and West Bengal.
On 11 June 2010, the broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum auction in India ended. Aircel paid Indian Rupee ₹ 3438.01 crores for spectrum in 8 circles, the second highest wins overall – after Reliance Communications. The circles it has won spectrum are Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar, Jammu & Kashmir, North East, Orissa, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal.It also has 3G spectrum in all these circles.

3G Coverage

Aircel’s 3G service is currently available in the following cities/towns in 13 telecom circles:

Telecom Circle State/Region No. of Towns Cities/Towns
Andhra Pradesh Andhra Pradesh 1 Hyderabad
Assam Assam 1 Guwahati
Bihar Bihar 1 Patna
Jharkhand 0
Jammu & Kashmir Jammu & Kashmir 1 Srinagar
Karnataka Karnataka 1 Bangalore
Kerala Kerala 10 Kochi/Ernakulam, Kozhikode, Palakkad, Thiruvananthapuram, Malappuram, Ollur, Thrissur and 4 other towns
Kolkata† Kolkata† N/A N/A
North East Arunachal Pradesh 0
Meghalaya 1 Shillong
Manipur 0
Mizoram 0
Nagaland 0
Tripura 0
Orissa Orissa 1 Bhubaneswar
Tamil Nadu Tamil Nadu 1 Chennai
Uttar Pradesh (East) Eastern Uttar Pradesh 1 Lucknow

†Kolkata is a metro circle and is not included in West Bengal circle, even though it is a part of West Bengal state.

Aircel Business Solutions

Aircel Business Solutions (ABS), part of Aircel, is an ISO 9000 certified company. ABS is a registered member of WiMAX forum – both in the Indian and International Chapters. ABS’ product range includes enterprise solutions such as Multiprotocol Label Switching Virtual Private Networks (MPLS VPNs), Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) and Managed Video Services on wireless platform including WiMAX.

Sponsorships

Aircel is one of the sponsors of the Indian Premier League Cricket Team Chennai Super Kings. It is also the major sponsors for Chennai Open (the only ATP tennis tournament in India), and Professional Golf Tour of India.

Share holders

Maxis, Aircel’s majority stake holder at that time, raised Indian Rupee ₹11.2 billions (USD 3.36 billions) for its shareholders (UTSB), making it the largest IPO in Malaysia and Southeast Asia, Tamil Nadu.

Social Presence

Aircel placed an actual dinghy lifeboat to a downtown billboard. A rope with a sign reading, “In case of emergency, cut rope”, held up the branded raft. July 15, 2009 the monsoon arrived with flooded streets and so did Aircel customer service. The dinghy was cut down and pedestrians were safely transported. What Aircel calls “Corporate Social Responsibility – A Solution”. The company was able to generate positive publicity and show consumers that they care.
Beautification of Anna Flyover has been taken up Aircel for a period of three years, the contract has been awarded by TNRIDC and executed by Chennai based outdoor advertising agency Abra Media Networks. This project boasts of first of its kind lighting solution for the entire stretch of the bridge and many other landscapes to enhance the look of the whole bridge. As far as the utility is concerned, they are building a dedicated toilet for the police guarding the Anna Flyover and the US Embassy. Once this flyover is beautified, Aircel plans to maintain it for 3 years. Aircel tied up with Tamil Nadu Public Works Department for beautification and maintaining of Gandhi Mandpam,Guindy in opposite of Anna University.

Awards & Recognition

Aircel has won many awards for its services. Aircel was honored at the World Brand Congress 2009 with three awards, Brand Leadership in Telecom, Marketing Campaign & Marketing Professional of the Year. Aircel was honored by CMAI INFOCOM National Telecom Award 2009 for, ‘Excellence in Marketing of New Telecom Service’. Aircel had been selected as the best regional operator in 2008 by Tele.net. Aircel was rated as the top mid-size utility company in Business World’s ‘List of Best Mid-Size Companies’ in 2007. Aircel got the highest rating for overall customer satisfaction and network quality in 2006 by Voice and Data.
Aircel is famous for innovative Pocket Internet cards for Free GPRS service for 1day/3days/7days/30days. Aircel become first to introduce Online service to subscribe and manage Dialer tunes. It is first in country to introduce SMS bank/Phone Book/Reminder/Talking SMS.

Competitors

Aircel is the Seventh largest carrier in India. Its competitors are (in order of customer totals):

  • Bharti Airtel
  • Reliance Communications
  • Vodafone Essar
  • Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited
  • Tata Teleservices
  • Idea Cellular
  • Uninor
  • MTS India

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