Bharti Airtel is seeking government approval to test voice services on its 4G networks, according to a report by the Times of India. Airtel recently launched its 4G services in Pune and had introduced them previously in Bengaluru and Kolkata. Interestingly, according to latest reports, another player Infotel Broadband – owned by Reliance Industries – is close to winning the approval from the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) for testing voice services on this platform. In fact, the DoT committee had recommended that the company be permitted to test 10,000 connections for 4G voice services along with as many mobile numbers.
Awaiting govt nod before testing 4G voice services
Quoting a Bharti Airtel spokesperson, the report added, “Airtel has the advantage of pan-India 2G and 3G networks while offering services on its 4G network. We are in the process of formulating test plans for voice over 4G as per the 3GPP standard. Airtel has the flexibility and choice of implementing either or both — 2G/3G and VoLTE — depending on the device penetration in India, going forward.”
With the rollout of its 4G LTE services in Pune recently, Airtel emerged as the first in Maharashtra to bring the 4G experience for its customers. With this, Airtel customers in Pune will now have access to 4G LTE technology that delivers the most advanced wireless broadband experience available across the globe today. Airtel also announced the availability and free trial offer of its all new service for Airtel 4G customers – Airtel Broadband TV and Games On-Demand. Additionally, Airtel 4G services for prepaid customers in Pune will be launched shortly.
Airtel 4G will give customers superfast access to data for High Definition (HD) video streaming, multiple chatting, instant uploading of photos, rich content and much more. Bharti Airtel also has plans of rolling out India’s first multi-mode LTE TDD smartphone in India alongwith partners Qualcomm and Huawei – thus making voice telephony a reality for 4G users in India in the near future. Customers were doled out the ability to check the availability of Airtel 4G services in their area online through the Google Maps interface and buy the services online.
Airtel Broadband TV service on Airtel 4G dongle allows customers to stream live TV content directly onto their laptop or desktop without the prerequisite of a cable or set-top box connection. Using Airtel 4G, customers now have access to close to 76 channels and on-demand videos across various genres including movies, music, entertainment and news. While the price applicable for this pack is Rs 150 and Rs 49 for monthly and weekly subscribers, respectively, Airtel 4G customers can use its introductory trial offer and access Airtel Broadband TV free of charge.
Interestingly, as per figures presented in September this year, Airtel registered 3,180 TD-LTE subscribers through its 4G network in Kolkata and Bangalore.
The Minister of State for Communications and Information Technology, Milind Deora, informed the Lok Sabha that BSNL provided 50,077 connections through 4G/ WiMAX and Bharti Airtel currently had 3,180 subscribers through its 4G network.