Bharti Airtel to launch 3G services within a week
With the government clearing decks for video calling on mobile phones, the country's largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Sunday said it will commercially launch 3G mobile services within a week.
"We will make the announcement for the commercial launch of our 3G service in next six to seven days," Bharti Airtel CEO Sanjay Kapoor told PTI.
On the telecom circles in which the service will be launched, Kapoor said that those details will be announced soon.
Bharti had won spectrum (radio waves) for 3G services in 13 of the country's 22 telecom service areas in the auction held by the Government last year.
Recently, after initial hiccups, the government permitted carriage of video calls on mobile networks subject to an undertaking by operators that they would provide interception capability by July 31.
Last year, Airtel's competitors, Tata DoCoMo, the GSM arm of Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications had launched 3G services in some circles, but were forced to stop them due to uncertainty over interception guidelines for video calls.
Besides, state-owned firms BSNL and MTNL are also offering 3G services in the country.
Another major private player, Vodafone has also announced plans to launch the service within the next three months.
Bharti Airtel has given contracts to leading global vendors -- Ericsson India, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and Huawei Technologies to set up infrastructure for providing 3G services in the country.
These vendors would plan, design, deploy and maintain 3G-HSPA (third generation, high speed packet access) networks in 13 telecom circles where the company has won 3G licences.
Bharti Airtel had close to 150 million mobile customers in India at the end of December 2010.