Airtel today became the first telecom operator to launch 4G services
in the country. Initially going live in Kolkata, Airtel 4G will soon be available in Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka circles too.
What is 4G
In telecommunication, 4G refers to the fourth generation of mobile communication standards. 4G is the successor to 3G and provides ultra-fast broadband internet access. Two 4G technologies are being used by telecom provides across the globe - WiMax and LTE (Long term evolution). Theoretically, 4G supports 100 megabits per second (Mbit/s) for high mobility communication and 1 gigabit per second (Gbit/s) for stationary use.
Airtel will be offering 4G to both prepaid and postpaid users and there are three tariff plans - Breakfree, Breakfree Max and Breakfree Ultra. In-line with the existing 3G tariffs, these plans offer no respite to the heavy users.
Airtel 4G is available starting today in Kolkata with Bengaluru next in line. Although Airtel has named Punjab, Maharashtra and Karnataka circles too in coming soon, there is no clear time schedule for launch.
As Airtel 4G is only available as a data service right now, company is offering 4G LTE USB Modem and 4G LTE Indoor Wireless Gateaway devices for accessing its service. The USB data card is priced at Rs 7,999, while the Indoor wireless gateway will be sold for Rs 7,750.
Along with data, Airtel will also be offering a host of value-added services to its 4G users like Movies, Games, TV, and Live Devotion. These services are powered by various content providers like Bigflix, and IndiaGames.
Airtel is using the TD-LTE (Time-Division Long-Term Evolution), which is a variant of LTE developed by China, to provide its 4G services.