Idea Cellular

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Idea Cellular Limited
Public Limited Company
Industry Telecom Services
Founded 1995
Headquarters Mumbai, India[1]
Key people
Kumar Mangalam Birla
Products Mobile telephony, wireless broadband
Revenue 265 billion (US$3.9 billion) (2013–14)[2]
19.68 billion (US$290 million) (2013–14)
Total assets US$5.334 billion (2010)
Members 160.08 million[3] (June 2015)
Parent Aditya Birla Group (49.05%)
Axiata Group Berhad (19.96%)
Providence Equity (10.6%)
Slogan An idea can change your life

Idea Cellular (commonly referred to as simply Idea, and stylised as !dea) is an Indian mobile network operator based in Mumbai, Maharashtra. Idea is a pan-India integrated GSM operator offering 2G,3G and 4G mobile services. Idea is India’s third largest mobile operator by subscriber base. Idea has 160.08 million subscribers as of June 2015.[3]


During its inception in 1995, Aditya Birla Group, Tata Group and AT&T Wireless each held one-third equity in the company. Following AT&T Wireless' merger with Cingular Wireless in 2004, Cingular decided to sell its 32.9% stake in Idea. This stake was bought by the remaining two stakeholders equally.[4] Tata forayed into the cellular market with its own subsidiary, Tata Indicom, a CDMA-based mobile provider and in April 2006, Aditya Birla Group announced the acquisition of the 48.18% stake held by Tata Group at INR 40.51 a share amounting to INR 44.06 billion with 15% of the stake acquired by Aditya Birla Nuvo and the remaining by Birla TMT holdings Private Ltd. both AV Birla family owned companies. Malaysia based Axiata bought a 19.96% stake in the company in 2009.[5]


Idea competes with other major mobile operators including Airtel, Vodafone, BSNL, Reliance Communications, Aircel, Uninor and Tata DoCoMo. On 19 May 2010, in the 3G spectrum auction Idea paid 5,768.59 crore for spectrum in 11 circles.[6] On 28 March 2011, Idea launched 3G services in Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Madhya Pradesh .[7] The launch cities were Ahmedabad, Shimla Indore

Idea currently supports up to 21.1 Mbit/s over 2G speeds of 256 kbit/s.[8] It also offers GPRS services in urban areas. On 23 November 2011, Idea Cellular launched two 3G handsets in India: Idea 3G smartphone blade and Idea 3G smartphone based on Android 2.2 Froyo.[9]

Idea Cellular launches 4G LTE services in 75 towns in South India.[10]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Idea Cellular – Cell Phone Services". Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  2. ^ "Consolidated Result". Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Telecom Subscription data, June 2015" (PDF). TRAI. Retrieved 28 November 2015. 
  4. ^ "Cingular Allows Agreement to Sell Stake in Indian Wireless Service Provider to Expire". U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Retrieved 2015-06-07. 
  5. ^ "Axiata sees long-term gains from India price war". Dow Jones Newswires (Total Telecom). 14 October 2009. Retrieved 14 October 2009. 
  6. ^ Pahwa, Nikhil (19 May 2010). "India’s 3G Auction Ends; Operator And Circle-Wise Results". MediaNama. 
  7. ^ "Idea Cellular launches 3G services from MP & Chhattisgarh". 28 March 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  8. ^ "3G Guide". Idea Celluar. Retrieved 21 March 2012. 
  9. ^ "Idea launched 2 affordable Androids, rebrands ZTE Blade and Huawei Ideos X1 in India". 23 November 2011. 
  10. ^ "Idea Cellular launches 4G LTE services in 75 towns in South India". MobiGyaan. Retrieved 23 December 2015. 

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