India's third largest mobile operator Idea Cellular has revealed plans to expand its 4G network to nine additional telecoms circles by March next year.
The operator plans to add around 57,000 new 4G cell sites this year alone, the Economic Timesreported.
With the expansion, Idea Cellular plans to launch of 4G in the circles of Uttar Pradesh East and West, Gujarat, Mumbai, Bihar, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Assam and Jammu & Kashmir.
This will take Idea's total 4G footprint to 20 of India's 22 telecoms circles. The 20 circles together account for 94% of Idea Cellular's revenue and 90% of all industry revenue.
Idea is using the spectrum it acquired in the recent $9.8 billion spectrum auction to pursue the 4G expansion.
India's 4G market is heating up due to the entry into the market of disruptive Pan-Indian 4G operator Reliance Jio Infocomm.
Idea's wireless broadband network currently spans 17 circles, with the operator aiming to achieve a total of 250,000 sites this financial year.
To better compete against Reliance Jio, Idea is also increasingly pursuing a content strategy, starting with branded games. The operator plans to expand to movie and music services in the near future.