Vodafone launches ‘world’s largest’ 4G network in India

The world’s largest 4G network is to be built in India as Vodafone seeks to improve its ranking in that nation.

Vodafone India has announced the roll out of its next generation, high speed 4G network in India on the 1800 MHz band in Kochi, in the state of Kerala, on India’s south west coast. Vodafone says that its 4G Mobile Wi-Fi will support connectivity for up to 10 devices.

“Prices,” reported RTN ASIA, “are on the higher side.” 20 GB has been priced at 2,499 rupees ($37.38). Trial packages start at 29 rupees ($0.43) for a 20MB bundle.

However, Vodafone has promised a ‘bonanza’ of special offers in order to excite interest as the development of the network begins. These include a free upgrade to 4G for customers, an offer of free unlimited movie subscription with access to 7500 films for 3 months, free unlimited music streaming for all 4G RED customers for 3 months and immediate 4G SIM exchanges with instant activation. Vodafone’s 4G service in Kochi to be available for customers from 14th Dec.

Vodafone claims it is the first telecom operator in Kerala to offer 2G/3G/4G services on its own convergent radio technology. However, it is currently the number two operator in the area which is led by Idea Cellular. Idea has promised to launch 4G in five cities in the state in the next 30 days.

Meanwhile another operator, Reliance Jio, will launch its services Kerala by January 2016 with 20 GB pack at 1000 Rupess ($15), less than half the Vodafone rate.

“Vodafone’s global expertise and experience gives us a better understanding of the needs of the 4G customer,” said Vodafone India’s CEO Sunil Sood.

Testing of 4G services in Mumbai, Delhi, Bengaluru and Kolkata has already commenced successfully, reports Vodafone. Kerala is a focus market for Vodafone India and in the last 18 months the company has invested 700 crores ($105 million) on a Kerala network expansion and modernization.

“We are proud that Vodafone has chosen Kochi as the first city in India to launch 4G,” said Abhijit Kishore, Business Head for Kerala at Vodafone India, “we will soon expand our 4G service to Trivandrum and Kozhikode.”

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