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Published on 24 Mar 2015 | about 1 year ago

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Vodafone India Limited, formerly Vodafone Essar Limited, is the second largest mobile network operator in India after Airtel by subscriber base. It is headquartered in Mumbai, Maharashtra.[2] It has approximately 173 million customers as of September 2014. It offers both prepaid and postpaid GSM cellular phone coverage throughout India with good presence in the metros.

Vodafone India provides 3G services on basis of 900 MHz and 1800 MHz digital GSM technology. Vodafone India launched 3G services in the country in the January–March quarter of 2011 and plans to spend up to $500 million within two years on its 3G networks.[3] Vodafone added maximum subscribers in July 2014, with 13.6 lakh new users joining its network to take its base to 17.12 crore. Vodafone is the second largest player in telecom operator in India after Airtel, with a market share of 22.95%.[citation needed]
Max Touch, Orange and Hutch (1992-2007)
Further information: Orange (India) and Hutchison Telecommunications International
Hutch logo until November 2005.
Hutch logo from November 2005 until acquisition by Vodafone.

Hutchison Max Telecom Ltd. (HMTL), a joint venture between Hutchison Whampoa and the Max Group, was established on 21 February 1992.[4] The licence to operate in Mumbai (then Bombay) circle was awarded to Hutchison Max by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) in November 1994.[5] The cellular service branded "Max Touch" was launched the same year.[6] Hutchison Max entered into the Delhi telecom circle in December 1999, the Kolkata circle in July 2000 and the Gujarat circle in September 2000. Licences for these circles had initially been awarded by the DoT in 1994, 1997 and 1995 respectively. Between 1992 and 2006, Hutchison acquired interests in all 23 mobile telecom circles of India.[5]

Hutchison Max rebranded Max Touch as Orange from 14 February 2000.[7] France Telecom (now Orange S.A.) acquired the worldwide rights for the Orange brand from Vodafone in May 2000, and planned to enforce its ownership of the brand in India. They made an offer to purchase part of Hutchison's India operations, but Hutchison India declined to sell.[8] Hutchison retained the rights over the Orange brand in India, but had to pay a royalty to France Telecom.[8] France Telecom left the Indian market in December 2004.[9][10][11]

HMTL was renamed Hutchison Essar Limited (HEL) in August 2005.[12] In Delhi, Uttar Pradesh (East), Rajasthan and Haryana, Essar Group was the major partner. But later Hutch took the majority stake. By the time of Hutchison Telecom's Initial Public Offering in 2004, Hutchison Whampoa had acquired interests in six mobile telecommunications operators providing service in 13 of India's 23 licence areas and following the completion of the acquisition of BPL Mobile that number increased to 16. In 2006, it announced the acquisition of a company (Essar Spacetel — A subsidiary of Essar Group) that held licence applications for the seven remaining licence areas. Initially, the company grew its business in the largest wireless markets in India — in cities like Mumbai, Delhi and Kolkata. In these densely populated urban areas it was able to establish a robust network, well-known brand and large distribution network – all vital to long-term success in India. Then it also targeted business users and high-end post-paid customers which helped Hutchison Essar to consistently generate a higher Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) than its competitors. By adopting this focused growth plan, it was able to establish leading positions in India's largest markets providing the resources to expand its footprint nationwide. In February 2007, Hutchison Telecom announced that it had entered into a binding agreement with a subsidiary of Vodafone Group Plc to sell its 67% direct and indirect equity and loan interests in Hutchison Essar Limited for a total cash consideration (before costs, expenses and interests) of approximately $11.1 billion.[citation needed]
A 'You and I' print advertisement of Hutch featuring Cheeka (dog)

Hutch was often praised for its award winning advertisements which all follow a clean, minimalist look. A recurrent theme is that its message "Hi" stands out visibly though it uses only white letters on red background. Another successful ad campaign in 2003 featured a pug named Cheeka following a boy around in unlikely places, with the tagline, "Wherever you go, our network follows." The simple yet powerful advertisement campaigns won it many admirers. Ads featuring the pug were continued by Vodafone even after rebranding. The brand subsequently introduced ZooZoos which gained even higher popularity than was created by the Pug. Vodafone's creative agency is O&M while Harit Nagpal was the Marketing Director during the various phases of its brand evolution.[citation needed]

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