Bharti Airtel is the world’s third largest mobile telecommunications carrier in the world (only lagging behind China Mobile and Vodafone,) with nearly 250 million service subscribers, 175 million of which are located in India. This is perhaps why they will be the first to bring a 4G LTE network to India later this year. The first LTE services will be arriving to those customers in the Bangalore, Pune and Chandigarh regions later on in the third quarter. Naturally, the network will be expanded over time.
Since the required hardware radios are not found in smartphones are not commonly found in India at the moment, the Bharti Airtel LTE network will only be accessible through USB dongles and customer premises equipment (CPE,) which is essentially a standalone Wi-Fi hotspot device. These 4G connected devices will acquire speeds of up to 40 Mbps, a speed just under three times faster than my own broadband connection.
The 4G dongle and the CPE will set you back 7999 INR and 7750 INR respectively and will be manufactured by China ZTE. Interestingly, Bharti Airtel state in a inforgraphic that we should switch to 4G “because 3G failed to deliver.”
However, if you do want 4G access straight from your smartphone you will have to wait a little bit longer. By the end of 2012 Bharti Airtel hopes to have such devices as the HTC Evo 4G, Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket, Blackberry Bold 9900 4G and the HTC Sensation 4G on their network. They also mention a new iPhone, does that confirm for sure that the iPhone 5 will have LTE support?
Kitguru says: And we often relegate India to third world country status; well it sure seems like their telcos are ahead of many situated in the western world.