New Delhi: Bharti Airtel is likely to launch 4G services, starting with Kolkata on March 20, which would give the company a lead over rivals in offering the next-generation telecom services in the country, according to industry sources.
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 technology. However, it was not known immediately who would be the vendor for the Kolkata circle.
With the launch in Kolkata, Airtel will be the first company to start 4G services in the country, sources said. 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.
Qualcom, 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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Updated Date: Dec 20, 2014 06:57:13 IST