India gets first Commercial 4G LTE Service

Barely a year after the first commercial 3G services for private carriers went live in India, Airtel became the first Indian mobile operator to launch commercial 4G services in the country. Airtel earlier today launched its TD-LTE based 4G network in Kolkata – the same city where it had back in 1995 launched the first GSM services. The service was launched by Minister of Communications and Information Technology, Mr.Kapil Sibal.

With this launch, India seems to have covered up the wide gap it had between western countries – most of which had 3G services since the mid 2000’s and are currently on the verge of deploying 4G Networks. India on the other hand seems to be in a hurry to move from 3G to 4G!

As of now, the service would only be available in Kolkata. Airtel however adds that it is working its way to introduce 4G services in all the circles for which it had bid for BWA Spectrum. The circles in question are Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra. Airtel would be competing with Reliance – which has bid for an Pan India 4G license.

All said, as of now there are very few 4G enabled handsets on sale in India and it would be a problem for users to actually use 4G services on handsets. Airtel as of now seems to be targeting high speed data users for the same reason it lists only 4G capable data cards on its websites.

Here are the tariffs for 4G usage in Kolkata.

 Airtel would be in the next few months launching 4G services in Bangalore and Pune as well.

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