Idea Cellular Limited was incorporated in 1995, and now ranks third in terms of all-India wireless revenue market share at 13.6 per cent.
Idea ranks second with 23.6 per cent revenue market share in nine service areas where it holds 900 MHz spectrum and which derive about 41 per cent of the industry's all-India revenues (based on gross revenues for UAS and Mobile licenses only, for March 2011 quarter, as released by TRAI).
The market positioning of Idea reflects the strength of its brand considering the fact that Idea added 11 out of its total 22 service areas in the past four years. Today, it is a pan-India player with commercial 2G operations in 22 service areas and 3G in nine of these circles. Its subscriber base has grown multifold, from 7.37 million in March 2006 to 89.5 million in March 2011.
Idea holds 16 per cent stake in Indus Towers, a joint venture with other telecom majors Bharti Airtel and Vodafone. Indus Towers is the world's largest tower company with over one lakh towers. In 2007, Idea was listed on the National Stock Exchange (NSE) and the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE).
Idea enjoys a market leadership position in many of its operational areas. It offers GPRS on all its operating networks for all categories of subscribers, and was the first company in India to commercially launch the next generation EDGE technology in Delhi in 2003. As a pioneer in technology deployment, it has been at the forefront through the adoption of biofuels to power its base stations, and by employing satellite connectivity to reach inaccessible rural areas in Madhya Pradesh.
Idea has been a leader in the introduction of value-added services, and there are many firsts to its credit, including a voice portal 'Say Idea', Idea TV, voice chat and instant messenger. Tariff plans have been customer-friendly, catering to the unique needs of different customer segments, for instance the 'Women's Card' caters to the special needs of women on the move, and 'Youth Card' covers the emerging youth segment.
The company now has its own NLD and ILD operations and ISP license. Idea has a network of over 70,000 cell sites covering the entire length and breadth of the country. The company has over 3,000 service centres servicing Idea subscribers across the country. Idea's service delivery platform is ISO 9001:2008 certified, making it the only operator in the country to have this standard certification for all 22 service areas and the corporate office.
Idea has won numerous awards and is the only Indian GSM operator to win the prestigious GSM Association Award consecutively in the best mobile technology category for the Best Billing and Customer Care Solution both in 2006 and in 2007, even in the face of international competition.
Idea was adjudged the 'Emerging Company of the Year' by The Economic Times and the 'Most Customer Responsive Company' in the telecom sector, in the year 2010. Brand Idea has won many accolades for its innovative communication. The 'What an Idea, Sirji' ads have won four Effies from 2008-2010, making it one of the 'Buzziest' brands in the country.
In 2011 Brand Idea moved to the No. 4 position amongst all service brands in the 'Most Trusted Brands Survey' conducted by Brand Equity, an Economic Times publication.
Idea's biggest campaigns – "Break the Language Barrier" and "No idea – Get Idea" were ranked globally as the best brand campaigns 2011 at MMA Global Awards and World Communication Awards, London.
Idea won the advertising effectiveness awards with a Gold EFFIE for the "No idea – Get Idea" campaign and a Silver for the" Language Barrier" campaign.
In radio, Idea won six awards at the Golden Mikes Awards 2011 and was adjudged the Advertiser of the Year. Besides, Idea also won a series of Digital Awards, the biggest being the Yahoo Big Chair where it won Gold.