Expanding the footprint of its high—speed Internet services, Bharti Airtel is likely to launch by September fourth generation (4G) services in Delhi, which is one of the lucrative data market in the country.
The firm, which already offers 4G services in Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune and Chandigarh, has roped in Chinese equipment maker Huawei to build and operate the 4G network in Delhi.
“We are planning to launch 4G services in Delhi by September and has selected Huawei for the network,” a company source said.
The company, which recently reduced 4G data tariffs by up to 31 per cent, is trying to boost up data usage and increase adoption for its 4G service for improving revenues.
Airtel had won spectrum for high—speed broadband service — Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) — in four telecom services areas of Kolkata, Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka in 2010, paying Rs 3,314.36 crore for it.
Airtel last year acquired 49 per cent stake in US telecom major Qualcomm Inc’s Indian 4G venture Wireless Business Services (WBS), which gave it entry into the circles of Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala.
Qualcomm had forked out Rs 4,912 crore to win the BWA licence for the four circles.
In the same auction, Reliance Jio Infocomm (then Infotel Broadband Services) won 20 Mhz slot for pan—India BWA spectrum for Rs 12,847.71 crore but the company is yet to roll out services.
Right now, Airtel holds 51 per cent stake in WBS and the company plans to completely acquire it by end of next year.
After Delhi, Airtel will launch 4G services in Mumbai and the company is in talks with players such as Huawei and ZTE for network.
4G mobile Internet technology provides download speeds of around 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) on the move and it can go up to 1 Gigabits per second (Gbps) at a fixed location.