Sunday, January 9, 2011

4G in PIPELINE - Aircel

When most of the telecom operators in the country are struggling to put 3G services on track, Aircel has set for 4G services too.

The telecom major will commercially launch its 3G services in another 45 to 60 days depending on some government clearances, while test run for 4G is likely to start by the first quarter of the next financial year. It plans to start 4G operations commercially in eight circles by December 2011 or January 2012.

"We are planning to launch our 3G services across 13 circles where we have got the licences in another 40 to 60 days. Moreover, Aircel will be one of the first firms in the country to usher into the fourth generation era. We are planning to start 4G trials by the first or second quarter of the next financial year," said Mallikarjuna Rao, chief technology officer of Aircel, on the sidelines of Intaglio 2011, an international school meet at IIM Calcutta on Thursday.

Rao said the firm would come up with 4G facilities on all the eight circles allotted to it by December 2011 or January 2012.

On the broadband wireless access auction — for access to 4G services — held last year, Aircel got Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam, North-East, Jammu & Kashmir circles. While it will provide services for 3G is 13 circles — Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kolkata, Kerala, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh (East), West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, North East and Jammu & Kashmir.

However, the firm has not decided on the circle which they will select for the trials.

"We have not decided on it. However, Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh and Assam are under consideration," Rao added. He expressed hope that 3G and 4G era will force operators to have more technological tie ups.

"Since majority of the operators do not have pan-India licences, it will lead to technological tie ups like intra-circle roaming"

Meanwhile, on MTNL’s offer to share its 3G network in Delhi and Mumbai, he said, "The slots were open for two operators. Since, Aircel and Tata Teleservices are the only companies who have submitted bids, it seems we will be able to get it."