Bharti Airtel will launch its 4G services, which is said to be 10 times faster than currently available 3G services, in Kolkata this month.
“It will be launched this month in Kolkata,” Sanjay Kapoor, chief executive officer of Bharti Airtel, said when asked about launch of 4G services by the company on sidelines of an event held in New Delhi yesterday.
4G service offer speeds in excess of 100 Mbps compared to 21 Mbps offered by 3G players. Superior speed of 4G will mean that it will be priced slightly higher than the 3G offerings.
Airtel has 4G spectrums in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Punjab and Kolkata. “The launch of commercial TD-LTE services later this year will offer Bharti Airtel subscribers in Maharashtra a much improved experience when using bandwidth-intensive applications, with more consistent network coverage and faster response times (low latency),” the teleco had earlier last month said.
So it can be expected that the teleco will soon introduce 4G services in other circles after rolling out the same in Kolkata.
Other companies who are expected to roll out 4G LTE services in India include Reliance Infotel (22 circles), BSNL (20 circles), Aircel (8 circles), Tikona (5 circles), Qualcomm (4 circles), MTNL (2 circles) and Augere (1 circle).
There are two types of 4G services – WiMax and LTE. While BSNL and MTNL have used WiMax so far, all the other networks will be based on LTE standard. Augere has already announced that it will start commercial operation by April while Reliance has set the deadline to mid 2012.
All the other operators are expected to roll-out services by June-July this year.
The only player whose plans might hit a road black is Qualcomm, a technology vendor that entered the auction for this spectrum only to ensure that LTE is chosen as the technology for roll-out. However, it is yet to find a partner who would actually roll-out the service.