Idea Cellular is planning all India footprint. Idea plans to apply for licenses in the remaining 12 circles, which are Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkatta amongst the Metros. Karnataka and Tamilnadu in Circle A. Punjab & West Bengal in Circle B. Bihar, Orissa, Assam, North East India and Jammu and Kashmir in Circle C. Idea is considering investing Rs2500 crores for these 12 circles through its holding company Aditya Birla Nuvo. This means we will have 5 telcos – Bharti-Airtel, Reliance, BSNL, Hutch and Idea operating all over India. As on today, Hutch and Idea appear to be the weaker telcos to offer complete bouquet consisting of mobile, landline, internet and triple play services. Sanjeev Aga MD of Aditya Birla Nuvo said,

We are hopeful of getting licences in all circles and would start operations depending on the receipt of the approvals.

We will invest over Rs 2,500 crore to strengthen our existing network and extend our presence to new circles. We will invest in brand promotion to increase our visibility. More promotional activities will be seen in national TV and print, other than regional media houses.

I had thought of consolidation in the Indian Mobile space with smaller operators who held less than 2 or 3 circles to sell out to others. Sure they sold, but to foreign entities. Sivsankran sold Aircel to Maxis and Spice sold 49% to Telekom Malaysia. Aircel has also applied for 8 more licenses in India.