Back in October last year, we heard rumours of Reliance planning on launching 4G in India, sometime in January, but that didn’t happen. Then, early last month, we heard that Nokia Siemens would be responsible for building and handling the 4G network for Bharti Airtel. We’ve now learnt that Kolkata will be the first city to receive the 4G broadband network. “We will be launching LTE TDD in Kolkata this month,” said Bharti's CEO – India and SAARC, Sanjay Kapoor at a press conference. We don’t have any further details at this point, but it appears that 4G will be a reality much sooner than expected.
4G coming this month?
Airtel will become the first mobile operator in the country to offer 4G (LTE TDD) services in the country. Currently, the mobile operator holds BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) licences in four circles – Punjab, Maharashtra, Kolkata and Karnataka. Other companies who own BWA licences, include Reliance Industries Ltd, Tikona Digital Networks Pvt. Ltd., Aircel Ltd, Augere Holdings and Qualcomm Inc., and they are yet to make any announcements as to when they’ll launch the service. When it does launch, one could expect massive speeds, simply because there won’t be many on the network rightaway. Also, expect the rates to be hitting the roof, but if anything, at least it should help curb the prices of 3G and make it more affordable, so the sooner it launches, the better it is for all of us.
Along with the roll out, one can expect more phones and tablets offered by Airtel to take advantage of the faster speed. Airtel have said that they will be launching 4G in April, but haven’t given a time frame as to when this will actually take place. With most of the newer smartphones supporting 4G speeds and most of the content moving online in the form of videos, it’s high time we got a faster and more reliable network.
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