After about a month's delay in roll-out, one of India’s most popular service providers, Bharti Airtel may finally launch their broadband wireless access (BWA), based on the 4G technology in Kolkata, tomorrow. According to reports, the Telecom Minister, himself has been sent an invitation to inaugurate the service and is hence expected to arrive at the function held tomorrow. With the launch tentatively scheduled for tomorrow, Bharti Airtel will invariably become the first service provider in the country to offer 4G wireless services in Kolkata.
4G to come tomorrow?
Delayed roughly by a month, owing to the minister's busy schedule during the Parliament session, rumours of Airtel planning on launching 4G services had first come out in the open in October, last year and it was only recently that a quote from the company's CEO – India and SAARC, Sanjay Kapoor that brought things into perspective. In his statement, Kapoor stated that stated that they would be launching LTE-TDD, this month. This was last week. Early last month, there were also reports that were carried stating that Airtel appointed Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) for building and operating network in the Maharashtra circle using one of the 4G technologies, TD-LTE. Reports now state that Airtel has also introduced Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE to the mix who would take care of the planning, designing, and deployment aspect of the service provider's BWA network in Kolkata.
With the 4G wireless services in the country, reports add that users will be able to enjoy download speeds of around 100 Megabits per second on the move, which can go up to 1 Gigabits per second, when at a fixed location. Airtel, reportedly won BWA spectrum in 2010 for four telecom circles, namely Kolkata, Maharashtra, Karnataka and Punjab after paying Rs.3,314.36 crores.
The report further adds that, “The company was allocated 20 Mhz of BWA spectrum in 2.3 Ghz frequency band which is considered suitable for transmitting signals for operating 4G services.In the same auction, Reliance Infotel (then Infotel Broadband Services) had won a 20 Mhz slot pan-India BWA spectrum for Rs 12,847.71 crore but the company is yet to announce its plan for rolling out services. Qualcomm, Tikona, Aircel and Augere have also won BWA spectrum in some circles.Public sector companies BSNL and MTNL were allocated one slot of BWA spectrum in their respective circles on payment of amount equivalent to the highest bidder in the service area.“
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