Rumours going around earlier had indicated that Airtel would be the first service provider in the country to bring in 4G-LTE services and of all that we knew then, we did believe this piece of news to possibly be true. Yesterday, we reported about there being a possibility of Airtel launching their 4G services in Kolkata, today, and that it would be inaugurated by the Telecom Minister, himself. Now, a report confirms that Airtel is all set to showcase its 4G services in Kolkata, and the inauguration of Airtel 4G is expected to be celebrated with a special event, which will be organized at the ITC Sonar, Kolkata. Kapil Sibal, the Union telecom minister will be the chief guest at the event. Airtel’s 4G-LTE is expected to be launched over a range of devices, which are inclusive of the Airtel 4G-LTE USB modem (Huawei E392) and Airtel 4G LTE Indoor Wireless Gateway (Huawei B593). The Airtel 4G-LTE enables using mobile Internet with bandwidth up to 40Mbps.
4G for Kolkata
Airtel’s 4G service is based on LTE-TDD (Time Division Duplex Long Term Evolution) using 20MHz of 2300MHz spectrum band that Airtel won in BWA auction, which was held two years ago. Airtel’s network will be managed by ZTE Corp, and reportedly, Airtel has also announced the tariff plans for their 4G-LTE services, available for both prepaid and postpaid users.The company has also gone ahead and disclosed its tariff plans, namely, Breakfree, Breakfree Max and Breakfree Ultra. The Breakfree plan has a monthly rental of Rs.999 offering 6GB usage, Breakfree Max offers 9GB usage for Rs.1,399 and Breakfree Ultra offers 18GB usage for Rs.1,999.
All three plans offer 128 kbps speed post FUP. Airtel offers some introductory 60 days offers for postpaid plans. Customers can get money-back which is equivalent to one/two month’s rent spread over first six bill cycles like Rs. 167/bill, Rs. 466/bill, Rs. 666/bill, for the first six bills on the Rs. 999, Rs, 1399 and Rs. 1999 plans, respectively. The indoor Wi-Fi with CPE is priced at Rs. 7750 and 4G multi mode dongle at Rs. 7999.
The launch would make Airtel, the first telecom provider to offer 4G LTE TDD services in India. It holds Broadband Wireless Access licenses in four circles – Punjab, Maharashtra, Kolkata and Karnataka. Reliance Industries Ltd, Tikona Digital Networks Pvt. Ltd., Aircel Ltd, Augere Holdings and Qualcomm Inc. are other companies, which hold BWA licences. However, these companies are yet to make an announcement. However, Reliance’s affordable 4G data card and the cheapest 4G tablets have been in news, since last year and are expected to come by anytime later this year, hopefully.
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