Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Virgin Mobile’s GSM offering – India

Virgin Mobile may partner with its existing CDMA network provider, Tata Teleservices, for GSM network services as well.

According to Jamie Heywood, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Virgin Mobile India: “We are getting into the GSM segment via the Tatas network. We have a commercial agreement with Tata to offer our service on the GSM network. The agreement is technology-agnostic.”

Tata Teleservices has GSM licences for 19 circles, out of which it has already received the GSM spectrum for 13 circles, circles being geographic areas which India is divided into by the regulator. This will provide Virgin Mobile the opportunity to reach out to a larger population. Heywood said: “At present, around 70 percent of the total mobile subscriber base in the country is GSM and entry into that space will help us expand our business reach.”

Virgin Mobile has denied the GSM entry as an MVNO in India and is again part of a franchisee model. Heywood added: “Globally we have been offering services in both the models — as an MVNO and also as a franchisee. In India, we will be offering our services as a franchisee operator. We have been a GSM operator in the UK, France, South Africa and Australia. We offer CDMA services in the US and Canada.”