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Probably one big announcement that Airtel made at GSMA event held at New Delhi – Airtel’s going to launch TD-LTE 4G service in Kolkata in this month itself. The words came from Sanjay Kapoor himself, CEO of telecom giant Bharti Airtel. We expected Reliance to jump in to this business first as it’s the only one who bagged pan-India BWA spectrum, and was reportedly to start 4G trials in Jamnagar. Airtel on the other hand is launching 4G service without any trials. ZTE is the partner of Airtel to carry out TD-LTE service in Kolkata. It’s this month, although we’ve no idea on when exactly (the date) Airtel would launch 4G in Kolkata.

Update 4/4/12: Official press release regarding Airtel-ZTE tie up is out, added below.

Press Release:

Bharti Airtel appoints ZTE to supply, manage 4G network in Kolkata

Strengthens India’s leadership in commercialization of LTE technology

New Delhi, 4 April 2012, 01:40 P.M., India – Bharti Airtel, a leading global telecommunications company with operations in 19 countries across Asia and Africa has selected ZTE Corporation (“ZTE”), a publicly-listed global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions to plan, design, supply and deploy its 4G network in Kolkata.  The forthcoming launch of 4G services, will allow Bharti Airtel subscribers to experience, high speed wireless internet access that can support bandwidth intensive applications, support video streaming and high-definition video conferencing.

Sanjay Kapoor, CEO Bharti Airtel (India & South Asia) said, “According to industry estimates, by 2016 – 6% of all mobile connections will have 4G connection, which would create 36% of the total mobile data traffic – thus paving way for the ensuing data revolution. The impending launch of 4G in the country will provide ultra high speed data access, driving fundamental changes in society at large. We look forward to the launch of 4G technology in India, which will be timed to match the world in its launch.”

Mr. Cui Liangjun, Chief Executive Officer, ZTE India said, “We are glad to be a part of Airtel’s foray into LTE services for the first time in India. ZTE is fully determined to build a strong LTE ecosystem that offers a scintillating experience for Internet users.”

ZTE is a leader in developing LTE technologies and till date has applied for 381 essential patents (EPs) for LTE standards, which account for approximately seven percent of the total number of EP applications globally. The organization offers a full range of LTE base stations, including widely distributed macro stations. It has won 30 contracts for LTE commercial application and has deployed test networks in cooperation with more than 100 operators across the globe.



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