Airtel Retains Nokia Networks To Build 1800 MHz 4G Network In 6 Telecom Circles
The evolution of fast speed internet will see another raise with Nokia Siemens Networks being selected by Bharti Airtel to build the country’s first 4G network on 1800 MHz band. The deal is pegged at a price of $200 million (INR 1,240 cr). The six telecom circles where this 4G network will come up will be Mumbai, MP, West Bengal, Odisha, Punjab and Kerala.
While Bharti Airtel already has 4G implemented, it is based on 2300 MHz band that was auctioned in 2010 by the government. Bharti’s 4G network is currently available in 15 cities including Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune, Nagpur, Nasik, Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala, Phagwara, Patiala, Amritsar, Ludhiana, Chandigarh, Panchkula and Mohali.
4G based on TDD-LTE technology (time division duplex long term evolution) promises speeds of upto 40 Mbps and upload speed of 20 Mbps. The 4G network that Nokia Networks will install for Airtel on 1800 MHz will use FDD-LTE (Frequency Division Duplexing- Long term evolution) technology which is more globally compatible.
Incase FDD-LTE and TDD-LTE sounds too technical for you, here is a brief overview of both.
TDD and FDD are 2 ways of packing data and phone calls on your mobile network. TDD refers to transmission and reception of data on the same frequency while FDD helps in uploading and downloading in different bandwidths. While most of the countries now use FDD-LTE, Apart from India, , Middle East and Australia are other countries which are on TDD-LTE.
While, TDD technology is less complex, cost effective and uses less spectrum, it is inefficient and has limited range. On the other hand implementing FDD is complex and costs are high, but the range is unlimited.
Most of the Europe runs on FDD-LTE and the internet usage on smartphones is hassle free. Also the speeds offered on FDD-LTE are higher compared to TDD-LTE.
We tested Airtel 4G internet speeds in Pune and here are the findings.
Airtel had won 20 MHz of 4G spectrum in 2300 MHz in 8 telecom circles and won 97 MHz in the 1800 MHz in 15 telecom circles. As per industry estimates, mobile data traffic will increase nearly 100 fold by 2015. especially due to increased viewing of video and rich content on mobiles.
Ashish Chowdhary, head of Customer Operations Asia and Middle East at Nokia Siemens Networks said, “As Bharti Airtel’s long-standing partner, we are glad to be chosen for the launch of 4G services. With our expertise and focus on mobile broadband, we hope to assist the operator in taking mobile broadband experience to a completely new level for its customers.”, said
Nokia Network also built Bharti Airtel’s 3G network which, so handing over the responsibility to build the 4G network was quite expected.