According to Malaysia’s Business Times, Indian mobile network operator Aircel has set aside USD5.5 billion for network expansion and upgrades for the next three to five years. Of that total it is understood that the cellco has already raised USD3.5 billion in US dollar and Indian rupee loans, while the remainder is expected to come from Aircel shareholders such as Binariang GSM, which owns 74% of the operator.
Aircel currently has coverage in 18 of India’s 22 telecom circles, but it is aiming to expand it network to offer commercial services in all regions by the middle of 2010. ‘Aircel has really grown over the past few years, from a small company two years ago to the third most admired telecom brand. It is still growing at a healthy pace,’ said the cellco’s director, Sandip Das.