Bharti Airtel launches LTE in India

Indian carrier Bharti Airtel said that it has launched the country’s first LTE service, in Kolkata. However, due to a shortage of LTE devices in the Indian market, subscribers will initially only be able to access the network through dongles.

In 2010, Airtel successfully bid for BWA license spectrum in Kolkata, Karnataka, Punjab and Maharashtra and is currently working towards rolling out LTE networks in these territories.

“We are confident that others will follow in this direction and participate in our pioneering effort of making TD-LTE the defacto 4G standard in India,” said Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and MD at Bharti Airtel

“High speed wireless broadband has the potential to transform India, provide a robust platform for building the country’s digital economy and truly empower people. With one of the largest pools of young population in the world, India will see massive growth in consumption of data and content over mobile devices and proliferation of mobile commerce,” he added.

The LTE dongles will be supplied by ZTE, which is also rolling out the 4G network and managing it for Airtel’s Kolkata operations.

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