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Bharti Airtel Launches India's first 4G service
Bharti Airtel Launches India's first 4G service
By: iMedia News Bureau

Bharti Airtel has launched India’s first fourth generation (4 G) services in Kolkata. Airtel's 4G (TD-LTE) network was launched today by Kapil Sibal, Minister of Communications and Information Technology. The telecom major has launched the service on a state-of-the-art network based on TD-LTE (long term evolution), making India one of the first countries in the world to commercially deploy this cutting-edge technology.

Commenting on the launch, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Airtel said, “Today’s launch is a major milestone for India and Airtel. Over the past 15 years Airtel has been at the forefront of India’s telecom revolution and has set the technology trends in India by aligning with the global standards. We are delighted to now provide leadership in setting the technology standard for 4G services in India by introducing the cutting edge TD-LTE.

“We are confident that others will follow in this direction and participate in our pioneering effort of making TD-LTE the defacto 4G standard in India.  I would like to thank all our stakeholders in helping us fulfill the Government’s vision of Broadband on Demand, outlined by the Hon’ble Telecom Minister. I would also like to thank the Government of West Bengal for their support and cooperation that has made this launch possible and once again reiterate our commitment to participate in the development of the state,” Mittal said.

The company had won BWA spectrum in 2010 for four telecom circles -- Kolkata, Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka and had paid Rs 3,314.36 crore. Airtel was allocated 20 Mhz of BWA spectrum in 2.3 Ghz frequency band which is considered suitable for transmitting signals for operating 4G services. 

Talking about high speed internet Mittal said, “High speed wireless broadband has the potential to transform India, provide a robust platform for building the country’s digital economy and truly empower people. With one of the largest pools of young population in the world, India will see massive growth in consumption of data and content over mobile devices and proliferation of mobile commerce. I look forward to Airtel playing a pivotal role in shaping this exciting future for India.”

Airtel will also allow superfast access to High Definition (HD) video streaming, multiple chatting, instant uploading of photos and much more.Compared to the existing 3G services that allow downloads speeds of up to 21 mbps (mega bytes per second), 4G allows download speeds of  “upto 100 mbps’’ (nearly 5 times higher than 3G). 2G networks have much a slower speed of 144 kbps (kilo bytes per second).

Currently, Airtel’s 4G pricing in Kolkata starts at Rs 999 with a usage of 6GB. Wi-fi devices (indoor CPE) are priced at Rs 7,750 while 4G multi mode dongles are priced at Rs 7,999.

Reliance Industries, which acquired nationwide BWA spectrum in 2010, is also believed to be preparing for deploying in some circles soon