Vodafone Essar, previously Hutchison Essar is a cellular operator in India that covers 16 telecom circles in India . Despite the official name being Vodafone Essar, its products are simply branded Vodafone. It offers both prepaid and postpaid GSM cellular phone coverage throughout India and is especially strong in the major metros.
Vodafone Essar provides 2G services based on 900Mhz and 1800Mhz digital GSM technology, offering voice and data services in 16 of the country’s 23 licence areas.
Vodafone Essar is owned by Vodafone 52%, Essar Group 33%, and other Indian nationals, 15%.
On February 11, 2007, Vodafone agreed to acquire the controlling interest of 67% held by Li Ka Shing Holdings in Hutch-Essar for US$11.1 billion, pipping Reliance Communications, Hinduja Group, and Essar Group, which is the owner of the remaining 33%. The whole company was valued at USD 18.8 billion. . The transaction closed on May 8, 2007.
1992: Hutchison Whampoa and Max Group established Hutchison Max
2000: Acquisition of Delhi operations Entered Calcutta and Gujarat markets through ESSAR acquisition
2001: Won auction for licences to operate GSM services in Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh and Chennai
2003: Acquired AirCel Digilink (ADIL – Essar Subsidiary) which operated in Rajastan, Uttar Pradesh East and Haryana telecom circles and renamed it under Hutch brand
2004: Launched in three additional telecom circles of India namely ‘Punjab’, ‘Uttar Pradesh West’ and ‘West Bengal’
2005: Acquired BPL, another mobile service provider in India
2008: Vodafone acquired Dishnet Wireless, a service provider in Orissa and has successfully launched its services in the following circle.
2008: Vodafone launched the Apple iPhone 3G to be used on its 17 circle 2G network.
Hutch was often praised for its award winning advertisements which all follow a clean, minimalist look. A recurrent theme is that its message Hello stands out visibly though it uses only white letters on red background. Another recent 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.
Tricks to come…