Customers who have been dreaming for years about surfing the Web as quickly from mobile phones as their computers in homes and offices may still have to wait.
Bharti Airtel, which was the first player to launch 4G services, has indicated that it isn’t too optimistic about the pace of its roll-out of high-speed broadband services.
“At this point it’s difficult to tell when the services will be rolled out for the rest of the country. We’ve conducted pilots in Kolkata, Bangalore and Pune. The technology needs to normalize and standards need to pick up,” said Sarvjit S. Dhillon, Group CFO, Bharti Enterprises Ltd. “Let me put it this way. We adopted 2G nearly twenty years after the rest of the world. With 3G, it was close to ten years. We’re looking at something similar with 4G,” he added.
Maintaining that there were no problems with the initial roll-out, Mr. Dhillon clarified that it was an issue of technical limitations.
“The issue here is that the throw or reach of the network as of now is only 300 to 400 metres. So to solve that we would have to set up a lot more sites,” he said.
The enhancement of the 4G network will improve the tenancies and profitability of Bharti Infratel,which recently proposed an IPO.