Monday, June 8, 2009

Indian Telecom sector: Vodafone Essar

The largest mobile telecommunications company in the world in terms of turnover, Vodafone, has headquarters in Newbury, Berkshire, England, and UK. The market value of the company is £75 billion (as of August 2008). Currently, the company operates in 25 countries and it has partner networks in 42 countries around the world. The name of the company derived from the phrase “Voice and Data Fone.” In terms of subscriber base, Vodafone is the second largest telecommunication company in the world after China Mobile. It has a subscriber base of 260 million in 25 countries (as of 2006). Vodafone also owns 45% stake of Verizon Wireless, the largest American mobile telecommunications company.

Vodafone Essar is a subsidiary of Vodafone Group Plc., which operates under the brand name Vodafone in India. Operating in 22 telecom circles in India, Vodafone Essar provides 2G services on 900MHZ and 1800MHZ digital GSM technology. It provides both prepaid and postpaid mobile phone services. The company has strong positions in major Indian cities. In India, Vodafone serves more than 63.34 million customers.

Vodafone Essar is jointly owned by Vodafone and Essar Group and other Indian business organizations. Vodafone owns 67% stake of the company. The rest 33% is jointly held by Reliance Communications, Hinduja Group, and Essar Global Limited. Essar Global Limited is one of the leading business houses in India. It business areas include steel manufacturing and service, energy, power, communications, shipping and logistics and projects. The group also has operations in Canada, USA, Africa, the Middle East, the Caribbean and South East Asia.

The company started its business in India in 1994. At that time it was named Hutchinson Essar Limited and was jointly owned by Hutchinson Telecommunications Limited and Essar Group. Hutchinson Telecommunications Limited was previously owned by Li Ka Shing Holdings. The company operated under the name, Hutch. On February 11, 2007, Vodafone bought 67% stake of Hutchison Telecommunications International Limited from Li Ka Shing Holdings for $11.1 billion. The transaction completed on May 8, 2007. Currently, the market value of Vodafone Essar Limited stands at $18.8 bilion.


Tunes & Downloads: callertunes, busy callertunes, full song download, ringtones, bhakti Sagar.

Entertainment:, movies, music, humour and dating.

Devotional: Bible on SMS, Gurbani, Pope, Bhakti Sagar, Osho.

Sports: cricket, vodafone alerts sports.

News & Updates: sms alerts jobs, news, vodafone flash, vodafone alerts news.

Call Management Services: call conference, call filter, voicemail, enhanced voicemail, missed call alerts.

Astrology: daily forecast, live astrology, tarot, vaastu & feng shui tips, rahukal & shubhkal.

Travel: train schedules, railway bookings, flight status, flight bookings, jet wallet.

Finance: portfolio tracker, stocks, forex & bullion, mobile banking, vodafone alerts finance.

Mail, messaging: voice sms, BlackBerry, vodafone mail, yahoo! mail and messenger, MSN @ Vodafone.

Dial in Services: dil say, dial a bouquet, live counseling, live astrology,dial a pizza.

Bill Info: Ebill, Itemised billing, My Vodafone bill, Vernacular bill, Duplicate bill.

Miscalleneous: help, dictionary, STD / ISD codes.

Subscriber base:

The total subscriber base of Vodafone is 5,46,24,809 (till September, 2008). It represents 23.38% of the total number of GSM mobile connections in India till Sept 2008.

  1. Mumbai………..4115671
  2. Delhi……………. 3741037
  3. Kolkata……….. 2481872
  4. Chennai…………1472340
  5. Gujarat………….7241167
  6. A.P………………..3430016
  7. Karnatka……….3333207
  8. Punjab…………..1944733
  9. Haryana………..1878339
  10. U.P.(E)…………..5589567
  11. Rajasthan……….4343407
  12. UP (W)…………..3825035
  13. West Bengal…..4000994
  14. Maharashtra…..3833719
  15. Tamil Nadu…….4509341
  16. Kerala…………….2704412
  17. Orissa…………….137445
  18. Assam……………45486
  19. North East…….29814
  20. MP…………………30213
  21. Bihar……………..76349


  • Vodafone Essar was named the ‘Most Respected Telecom Company,’ the ‘Best Mobile Service in the country,’ and the ‘Most Creative and Most Effective Advertiser of the Year.’
  • On February 11, 2009, Vodafone Essar announced for its Tamil Nadu pre-paid subscribers, an entry level tariff plan of Rs.52 with lifetime validity and a Rs.10 talk time. Local calls to all Vodafone numbers, other mobiles and landlines would cost Rs. 1 per minute and all STD calls are at Rs.1.50 per minute.
  • On that same day the company also launched ‘Lifelong Prepaid’ service for Rs. 47 for all the new pre paid customers. This new prepaid package comes with Rs. 5 per minute talk time and lifetime validity. In addition, customers of Vodafone can enjoy the low tariff by paying a daily rental of Rs. 1 (Rs.50 p/m to any local Vodafone numbers and 60p/min to all other local mobiles and Re 1/min to local landlines).
  • On January 20, 2009, Vodafone announced that its subscriber base in Gujarat reached 7.5 million. In January 2006, the number of Vodafone subscribers in Gujarat was only only 2 million and within such a short time it came up to 7.5 million. This is an outstanding achievement for the company.
  • On January 23rd, Vodafone launched its first Vodafone Store at Baner in Pune. The new 600 sq ft shop was built according to international style of the company. With this new store, Vodafone has seventeen stores in Pune.
  • In January 2009, Vodafone announced that BlackBerry Storm, the famous smart phone produced by Research In Motion (RIM). The phone became available in India from January 15, 2009. The BlackBerry Storm was priced at Rs. 27,990 which is cheaper than the Rs. 35,000 BlackBerry Bold.
  • Before Vodafone acquisition, the company was named Hutchinson Essar and the brand name was Hutch. The company kept the brand name even after the acquisition because the renaming process took some time. It required necessary government approvals. Finally, on September 20, 2007, the company name changed to Vodafone Essar and the new brand name Vodafone. For the brand name transition, Vodafone Essar spent Rs. 250 crores. It was one of the high-profile transitions till date.
  • Vodafone successfully launched Apple iPhone 3G in India on August 22nd 2008.

Related articles:

Vodafone India


Wikipedia-Vodafone Essar


  1. Nice post! Explained well. But, i feel the telecom sector should still be developed in Indian market..

  2. Videocon Mobile Services is going to roll out its GSM services in two more circles – Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh (East and West) very soon.

  3. Videocon Mobile Services is going to roll out its GSM services in two more circles – Himachal Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh (East and West) very soon.