New Delhi: Telecom major Bharti Airtel is set to launch 4G services in Kolkata this month, said its top official today.
"It will be launched this month in Kolkata," Bharti Airtel CEO Sanjay Kapoor said when asked about launch of 4G services by the company on sidelines of GSMA event here. 4G technology is supposed to provide download speeds of around 100 Megabits per second on the move and it can go up to 1 Gigabits per second at a fixed location.
With the launch in Kolkata, Airtel will be the first company to start 4G services in the country, sources said. The country's largest private telecom company had earlier appointed Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) for building and operating its 4G network in the Maharashtra circle using TD-LTE, one of the 4G technologies.
However, the identity of the vendor for the Kolkata circle could be be immediately ascertained. The company had won spectrum for high-speed wireless broadband service (Broadband Wireless Access spectrum) in four
telecom circles namely Kolkata, Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka and paid Rs 3,314.36 crore in 2010.
The company was allocated 20 Mhz of BWA spectrum in 2.3 Ghz frequency band which is considered suitable for transmitting signals for running 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.