Airtel launches 4G services in Kolkata, first in India

Airtel launches 4G services in Kolkata, first in India

Airtel launches 4G services in Kolkata, first in India With this launch, the firm became the first player to launch the 4G service in India.

The high speed service was inaugurated here by union Communications Minister Kapil Sibal.

A successor to the 3G and 2G families, 4G is expected to be five times quicker than 3G services. It would offer services such as high-definition mobile TV and video conferencing.

Airtel , which had bagged BWA spectrum in four telecom circles — Kolkata, Maharastra, Punjab and Karnataka — for Rs.3,314.36 crore in 2010, selected Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE to manage its services in Kolkata.

The other players are yet to announce plans to rollout 4G services.

Airtel is offering three packs: the Breakfree plan for Rs 999 for free data usage quota of six GB (giga bytes), the Breakfree Max plan worth Rs 1,399 with free data usage of nine GB, and the Breakfree Ultra plan worth Rs 1,999 allowing free data usage of up to 18 GB. In contrast, it has only one postpaid data plan on the data card in 3G, which is at Rs 950 per month for six GB. Vodafone’s data pack is for Rs 3,250 for six GB but with a six-month validity.

A normal movie requires about 300-500 MB (mega bytes) of space and a DVD quality movie about 1.5-2 GB. With 4G services, one would not have to spend hours in downloading a movie from the internet.

However, one would have to fork out more for the dongles or data cards that are more expensive, priced Rs 7,999, and indoor-use devices with Wi-fi, priced Rs 7,750. A typical Huawei Airtel 3.6 Mbps (mega bits per second) 3G data card is priced Rs 2,099 while the Airtel 7.2 Mbps 3G data card is available at Rs 2,499. However, 4G currently does not offer voice services.