Bharti Airtel, which has the biggest revenue share among mobile phone companies in India, launched its 3G services on Monday. Vineet Taneja, Operations Director-South, said the launch of higher value services on the 3G platform will check the decline in average revenue per user (ARPU).

He said Airtel's “leadership formula,” based on the provision of services on the high speed packet access (HSPA) protocol would enable users browse the Internet on mobile devices at speeds of up to 21 mega bits per second (mbps).

Atul Mohan Bindal, President, Mobile Services, said 3G services would be launched in about 40 towns by March, and scaled up to more than 1,500 cities and towns by April 2012. He said services would be launched in the 13 telecom circles for which the company won 3G licences, at a cost of Rs.13,000 crore.

Third-party dongles

Mr. Taneja told The Hindu that Airtel, while promoting dongles sold by its own partners, would also accept its 3G subscribers to use third-party dongles for surfing the Internet on mobile computing devices such as laptops.

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