Sistema to tie up with Micromax for bundled offers

Kolkata, Oct 28

Sistema Shyam TeleServices Ltd (SSTL), which operates under the brand name MTS, will tie-up with Indian handset vendor Micromax for bundled offers.

Bundled offers are those where the handset price is subsidised through data packs.

Devices are expected to be launched at “an affordable price point” of around Rs 10,000 by this year-end or in early 2014.

MTS, which has a unified licence in nine circles, operates in the voice segment as a CDMA player and in the data segment through dongles.

Similar tie ups

MTS already have bundling offers with Taiwanese phone-maker HTC and Indian vendor Lava.

“In case of HTC, the price point is nearly Rs 40,000. We are looking at tie-ups in the affordable segment of around Rs 10,000,” Sandeep Marwaha, Chief Operating Officer, Kolkata and West Bengal circles, MTS, said. MTS, currently, has 30 lakh subscribers in across Bengal and Kolkata in the voice (CDMA phone users) and another 1.5 lakh in the data (dongle) segment.

Of the 30 lakh voice subscriber, nearly 10 per cent (or 3 lakh) use data services on their mobile phones, he said.

Data Services

According to Marwaha, the company is expecting data revenues to overtake voice in another two years time. As of date, 30 per cent of its total revenues are from data services, mainly dongles.

Its average revenue per user (also called ARPU) from data services (through dongles) stands at approximately Rs 400 while in case of voice (CDMA handset users) it is approximately between Rs 150 and Rs 200.

According to market sources, targeting growth through increased data penetration is now the norm in the telecom industry, where earnings from voice calls have either seen single digit growth or stagnated.

For new entrants or pure-play CDMA players such as MTS, targeting growth through data-usage is the only possible alternative.

In the data segment, MTS hasdecided to upgrade its network (through the “EVDO Rev B Phase II” technology) enabling faster download speeds. The service competes with 3G network speeds in the GSM segment in terms of speed.

While a three minute video clip will take a download time of nearly two minutes (under the EVDO Rev B Phase II technology).

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Published on October 28, 2013
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