Airtel Launches 4G LTE in India

Where the world is buzzing around the Long Term Evolution LTE, a 4G technology, India is still on its 3G and 3.5G speeds of HSDPA.

The government of India had kept high license prices for the 3G spectrum, the reason why 4G LTE is even a harder game. While the telecom providers like Vodafone, Airtel, Idea have not yet profited from 3G (Investment was huge, returns are still lagging), its almost time for everyone to start moving to 4G.

Bharti Airtel, nation’s biggest Telecom provider, is now ready for the 4G LTE launch in the metropolitan cities of India. Bharti group having won spectrum for four markets nearly two years ago, the company will debut its ZTE-built 2300MHz next-gen network in Kolkata (Calcutta).

There’s little info on what happens to other regions of India: Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai. For now, Airtel announced that Nokia Siemens will be heading up the effort in Maharashtra later this year, followed by Punjab and Karnataka. This is a big investment for a market that’s not yet have proven to be profitable. The risk is of course the strategy that drives big brands and Bharti is definitely up for it.

So far, Airtel has delivered excellent 3G / HSDPA speeds of 7.5Mbps+, time will tell us what happens to 4G LTE.

According to industry estimates, by 2016 – 6% of all mobile connections will have 4G connection, which would create 36% of the total mobile data traffic – thus paving way for the ensuing data revolution. The impending launch of 4G in the country will provide ultra high speed data access, driving fundamental changes in society at large. We look forward to the launch of 4G technology in India, which will be timed to match the world in its launch.

4G LTE service starts in Kolkota this month (April 2012). Stay tuned for more updates on rest of the India.

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