In an effort to steal a march over its rival as far as 4G services are concerned, Bharti Airtel will soon launch 4G services all across the country, beginning with Kolkata on March 20th. Airtel had appointed Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) earlier in order to create a vast 4G network in the Maharashtra circle through the use of TD-LTE. But at that time it wasn’t known as to who was going to be the Kolkata circle vendor.
Airtel bought the 4G spectrum for Kolkata circle, along with Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka for an amount of Rs.3314.36 crore back in 2010 through an auction conducted by the union govt. With the launch of 4G services in Kolkata, Airtel will become the first telecom company in India to do so.
Airtel was allocated BWA spectrum of 20 Mhz in the 2.3 Ghz frequency band considered ideal for delivering 4G services. Along with Airtel, Reliance Infotel had also won pan-India BWA spectrum of 20-Mhz for an amount of Rs.12,847.71 crore, but the company hasn’t yet announced its plans regarding the roll out of 4G services. Apart from these two companies, Tikona, Qualcomm, Augere and Aircel had also won bids to 4G services in certain circles. In the public sector, BSNL and MTNL had also been awarded one BWA slot in their own circles on the payment of an amount equal to the largest bidder in that area.
Airtel was slated to introduce 4G services in India much earlier, but some of its thunder was stolen by Augere Wireless, which had announced its LTE based high-speed network plans last month. Industry sources believe this is the reason Airtel has been hurried into declaring through sources the launch of their 4G services.