The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Indicom impels Tata telecom tryst

Mumbai, Dec. 8: The Tatas are considering the possibility of extending the ‘Tata Indicom’ brand to the group’s services in the telecommunications sector.

The Tata Indicom brand, launched a few months ago, is now restricted to consumers of Tata Teleservices Ltd (TTSL) in the circles of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu and Karnataka. Sources said the group is now looking at making this a common brand across its communication services, where it has invested huge amounts, albeit in a phased manner.

The brand, they pointed out, embodied all the values of the Tata group. The Tata Indicom brand is accompanied by its mascot—a person in a suit extending his arms in a welcome—sources said, representing customer friendliness, responsible yet modest.

They added that the products and services which have been identified for being brought under the brand include fixed wireless service apart from limited mobility, voice mail, pay-phone booths, calling cards, NLD, ILD and internet connections, including broadband, virtual private networks among others.

Customers of Hughes Ltd (HTIL)—the telephony and ISP services provider in Maharashtra—will also be covered by the brand.

Tata Indicom would also make its debut in New Delhi by the middle of this month, marking its presence in six territories that would also include Gujarat.

TTSL recently announced the completion of the acquisition of HTIL Ltd and a reconstitution of the latter’s board. “It is now likely that all services offered by HTIL will come under the Tata Indicom brand,” sources added.

HTIL is currently divided into data network services, ISP post-paid dial-up services, usage based billing DSL service among other value added services like voice messages to the US and Canada.

However, group sources were non-committal when asked about the possibility of the brand being extended to cover the services of Videsh Sanchar Nigam Ltd (VSNL) as well. “Its is too early at this stage to comment on this possibility. Any final decision on this front has to be taken by that company’s board,” they added.

TTSL is planning to invest around Rs 7,500 crore in the country to achieve a subscriber base of over 3 million. Of this amount, the company has already deployed Rs 2,400 crore in Andhra Pradesh and four other circles.

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