After Bharti Airtel, Aircel is reportedly gearing up to launch its 4G services in India. The telecom operator, which holds the spectrum licence for eight circles, will begin rolling out 4G services between October and December this year. Aircel is reportedly going to spend approximately $500 million (roughly Rs. 2,757 crore) to set up the network.
Aircel, which recently slashed its 3G tariff prices, has spectrum licence for Jammu and Kashmir, Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, West Bengal, Bihar, Odisha, Assam and North East. Currently, Aircel is offering 3G services in 13 circles including Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, West Bengal, Kolkata and Bihar.
According to a Business Standard report, Aircel isn't just looking to offer 4G services through dongles and devices but also via broadband internet, video on demand, education and health care services and broadcasting. The telco has already starting working on creating a fibre optic backbone for this purpose.
Sandip Das, CEO of Malaysian telco Maxis Berhad (which controls a majority stake in Aircel), says Aircel does not intend to become an all-India player in 4G, but will prefer to become a major data player in certain circles. He also hinted that Aircel's 4G tariff prices will be similar to its current 3G services. “We have already equalised our 2G and 3G tariffs and have over a million subscribers. With China and India dominating the LTE market, we’ll see prices of devices fall,” Das is quoted as saying.
Bharti Airtel earlier this year became the first telecom operator in India to launch 4G services in the country. Also, it kicked off a 3G price war by slashing tariff prices by up to 70 percent. Apart from Airtel, Tikona and Reliance are planning to launch their 4G services this year.