Aircel mobile group, India’s fifth largest GSM mobile network operator headquartered in Chennai, provides mobile and data services predominantly in Tamil Nadu and North East India. Aircel is a partnership between Sindhya Securities & Investments (key stakeholders of Sindya include the Reddy family of Apollo Hospitals) and Maxis Communications of Malaysia.
In the 2010 spectrum auction, Aircel purchased 3G in 13 circles and wireless broadband spectrum in 8 circles respectively. Aircel has close to 1.2 million 3G customers, and has plans to launch its LTE network in the near future.
Aircel mobile network covers India’s 23 telecommunication circles, including Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Tamil Nadu, Orissa, Rajasthan , Punjab, Maharashtra , Uttar Pradesh , Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Assam, Bihar, Gujarat, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu, Kashmir, Kerala, Haryana, Madhya Pradesh , Jharkhand, Goa and West Bengal. Such full nationwide coverage was the result of Aircel’s ambition to be a national mobile service provider.
Aircel has a user base of over 65 million and has market share of 8% among wireless GSM, CDMA and FWP wireless operators (includes GSM, CDMA, and FWP operators) in India. Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has also given Aircel permission to provide international and national long distance (ILD/NLD) telephone services. Aircel’s range of services include GSM, CDMA, NLD, ILD, SMS and data card services. Subscribers can choose from a variety of Aircel’s prepaid plans which do not require any contracts or monthly bills.
For Aircel prepaid recharges, subscribers can log on to Easyonlinerecharge.in which provides Aircel Mobile Recharge, Aircel Prepaid Recharge and Aircel online recharge. Easyonlinerecharge.in accepts credit cards, debit cards, and net banking as Aircel prepaid mobile online recharge options.
When a subscriber purchases the Start-up Kit (SUK) which costs INR 25, Aircel users get a new SIM card with lifetime validity. The standard tariff on this SIM card is 1 paisa per second for all calls to local networks (mobile and land line) . Long distance STD calls will cost 1 paisa per second for all mobiles in Aircel online recharge network, and 1.2 paisa per second for calls to non Aircel mobile phones and land lines. SMS sent to local phones will cost 60 paisa, and an SMS sent to national networks will cost INR 1.2. International SMS will cost Rs5 per text message.
After the initial one-year validity period, all Aircel calls, (local and STD), will cost INR 1 per 60 seconds, and all other calls (local/STD), will cost INR 1.5 per 60 seconds.
Heavy mobile users can choose from a range of Aircel’s Rate Cutters which are valid for 30 days. Each plan has been designed to meet the needs of different types of individual users. For example, the INR 9 pack comes with 100 local and national SMS, while the INR 19 pack comes with local Aircel to Aircel mobile call rate of 10 paisa per 60 seconds from 11PM to 7AM; this pack also includes 250 local and national text messages.
Other options are
In order to increase adoption of Aircel mobile Internet, Aircel introduced a cost effective data card recharge package, Pocket Internet 24 (PI-24) which costs INR 24 and comes with 100 MB of data usage and has a 30 day validity. After the initial 100MB usage, subscribers can buy the same data pack once again or switch to another plan offering more data. Currently, the plan is only available for Aircel 2G customers. For 3G Aircel users, the same plan is available a max speed of 3.6 Mbps. The plan is mainly targeted at first time mobile Internet users.