Aircel to introduce 4G services later this year
| by Anuradha Shetty |
Popular mobile service provider, Aircel, will reportedly introduce its 4G services in the country later this year. Business Standard now reports that Aircel will be investing $500 million (Rs. 2,757 crores) to launch its 4G services in the country between October and December, and will begin rolling out 4G services from Chennai and other cities in Tamil Nadu. Aircel, reportedly has its spectrum in eight circles in the country. Quoting Sandip Das, CEO of Malaysian telco Maxis Berhad (which controls a majority stake in Aircel), the report adds that, “Our focus is on creating a big data business. We’ll award contracts for 4G equipment soon and launch between October and December. We are putting in $500 million. We’ll be an integrated provider of 4G services.”
Aircel 4G to come in later this year
Das, reportedly has also been quoted as saying that not only will Aircel be providing mobile 4G services, by the way of dongles and devices, but the popular mobile service provider in the country also plans to offer broadband Internet, broadcasting, video on demand, education and health care services, et al. In fact, as per this report, Aircel has also been working at creating a fibre optic backbone, which it plans to do partly by leasing and partly by the way of its own investments.
Das, however cleared that the company is not aiming to be an all-India name in 4G, but prefers to be a 'large data player in certain circles.' When asked on whether the prices of 4G would be high as 3G, Das was quoted by this report as saying, "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.”
Only recently, Airtel grabbed national headlines when it launched its 4G services in India, first in Kolkata, then Bengaluru. Airtel for their 4G customers in Bengaluru and Kolkata offers, what it refers to as ‘Smartbytes’. This newly introduced feature, is Airtel’s 4G LTE top-up service and will essentially allow Airtel 4G customers to purchase add-on packs, which they can purchase once they have exhausted their free benefit usage.
Yet another interesting feature, that users are being offered on Airtel’s 4G network is a movie catalogue. Airtel is introducing a movie catalogue comprising 35 movies for their 4G LTE customers. Airtel will offer 10 movie titles for free, for the first month, which they claim that over lightening fast Airtel 4G LTE, these can be watched without buffering,pixilation and lag. To avail a monthly subscription for the catalogue, Airtel 4G LTE users will have to pay Rs.149 /month for unlimited movies. Some titles on offer include - Rang De Basanti, Fashion, Shootout At Lokhandwala, No One Killed Jessica, among others. Airtel, further, as part of their introductory offer for their customers availing their 4G services, will offer a cashback for the CPE/ dongle, thereby bringing down the device cost to zero, while also encouraging more to adopt 4G services.
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