Telecom major Airtel has launched India’s first 4G LTE (long term evolution) service in Kolkata. 4G is a high speed wireless broadband service with ten times the upload and download speeds available today. The service launched by the Union Telecom and IT Minister, Mr Kapil Sibal aims to trigger a new phase in the history of Indian telecom.
Commenting on the launch, Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director, Bharti Airtel said, “Today’s launch is a major milestone for India and Airtel. 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.”
Data services redefined
Besides offering rich content, 4G will allow superfast access to High Definition (HD) video streaming, multiple chatting, instant uploading of photos and much more. It will also help in bridging the digital divide and add to economic growth in rural areas by enhancing the reach of e-governance, e-health and e-education services.
4G provides about 100mbps download speed which is almost 5-8 times the speed of existing 3G networks. To top it Airtel has launched the services on the advanced TD-LTE technology. With this India becomes of the first countries in the world to commercially deploy this technology. In 2010, Airtel had successfully bid for BWA (Broadband Wireless Access) license spectrum in Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai) circles. It is currently working towards rolling out the networks in circles other than Kolkata.
Tariff Plans – a bit on the higher side
There are three tariff plans for prepaid and post paid customers beginning at Rs 999 for 6GB of data. The others are priced at Rs 1399 and Rs 1999 for 9GB and 18GB of data respectively. As an introductory offer Airtel has decided to give money-back for a value equivalent of one month’s rent, spread over first six bill cycles, for the Rs 999 plan. Customers will get a bill discount of Rs 167/bill for six bills.
For customers with tariff plans of Rs 1399 and Rs 1999, the offer changes to money-back for a value equivalent of two month’s rent spread over first six bill cycles. They will get a bill discount of Rs 466/ bill for six bills in the case of Rs 1,399 plan, and Rs 666/bill for six bills in the case of Rs 1,999 plan.
However, you will return disappointed if you wish to purchase a dongle or Indoor CPE with Wi-Fi for your usage needs. It is steeply priced at Rs 7999 and Rs 7750 respectively.
Even though Airtel becomes the first in its league to offer 4G services in the country, it remains to be seen when others follow suit and at what price. Till then enjoy the power of 4G with Airtel.