Earlier this month the Internet was abuzz with reports that telecom giant Bharti Airtel was going to launch its 4G services on March 20. Apparently, that didn't happen. However, fresh round of rumours suggest 4G is still on Airtel's cards and the company is likely to launch it in Kolkata circle in the first half of April.
Citing unnamed sources, Telecom Talk reports that Airtel may launch LTE-TDD based wireless broadband services in the first half of April, 2012 in Kolkata. It further reports that ZTE will assist Airtel as the equipment partner, while Indus Towers will be providing towers for the 4G services. The site also points out that Airtel may install small cells at different places of the city to provide better coverage. Also, the roll-out of LTE will only be available in select pockets of the city.
It may be recalled that Airtel had won spectrum for high-speed wireless broadband service (Broadband Wireless Access spectrum) in four circles namely Kolkata, Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka . Airtel was allocated 20 MHz of BWA spectrum in 2.3 GHz frequency band.
In the same auction, Reliance Infotel had won a pan-India BWA spectrum and was given a 20MHz band. RIL has been previously rumoured to launch its 4G services with an ultra low-cost tablet. Meanwhile, Airtel, which has the largest subscribers base in India, is likely to launch its 4G services with new dongles and tablets.
It's notable that there's no official word on 4G launch from Airtel yet.