14 Dec 2010
India's Reliance Communications has become India’s second private operator to launch 3G services.
It has gone live in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and the northwestern city of Chandigarh. It said it plans to launch across all the 13 telecom circles where it holds licenses by the end of March next year.
It is offering prepaid packages of 299 rupees ($6.63) and 699 rupees, with talk time of 300 and 600 minutes and 200MB and 500MB in data respectively.
RCom said it would form partnerships with 3G licensees in India’s remaining nine circles to provide a pan-India service.
The company paid 85.85 billion rupees ($1.9b) for licenses in the 13 circles during May's 3G auction. It was the third biggest spender, after Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Essar.
Tata DoCoMo last month became the first private operator to launch 3G services. Bharti plans to follow suit by the end of the year, while Vodafone Essar and Aircel plan to commence services in the first quarter of next year.
Private operators BSNL and MTNL launched 3G in 2009 and late 2008 respectively, but rollouts and subscriber take-up have been limited.