Bharti Airtel reveals commercial 4G launch in India

Indian operator Bharti Airtel has expanded its 4G footprint in the country with the commercial launch of the technology in 296 towns.

The launch follows a number of successful trials in select cities across India, and Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO at Bharti Airtel (India and Southeast Asia) said that the operator had built “India’s first commercial 4G network that will make high-speed mobile broadband a reality”.

It also falls ahead of the anticipated launch of 4G services from rival player Reliance Jio Infocomm, which is planning to kick off its offering across India in December.

“We believe that an open platform is critical in developing an ecosystem that nurtures innovation and enabling our consumers to access a myriad set of possibilities on their mobile phones,” Vittal added.

“Our 4G network is therefore built on an open partner ecosystem model that brings together the best in the industry and introduces the market to those never-before experiences.”

Idea Cellular and Vodafone India are also planning commercial launches of their 4G services towards the end of this year and early next.

Last month, a number of industry giants – including Bharti, Reliance and Idea Cellular – pledged a total of approximately $75 billion to the country’s Digital India programme