Airtel to launch 4G services in Chandigarh by March-end

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Country's largest private telecom company Bharti Airtel will launch 4G services in Chandigarh by the end of next month, expanding the footprint of its high- speed Internet service network.

The only firm offering 4G services in India, covering cities of Kolkata, Bangalore and Pune, the company has roped in Chinese equipment maker ZTE to build and operate the 4G network in Chandigarh.

"We are planning to launch 4G in Chandigarh by end of March and have finalised ZTE for the network," said a company source.

4G mobile Internet technology provides download speeds of around 100 Megabits per second (Mbps) on the move and it can go up to 1 Gigabits per second (Gbps) at a fixed location.

Airtel had won spectrum for high-speed broadband service - Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) - in four telecom services areas of Kolkata, Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka in 2010, paying Rs 3,314.36 crore for it.

In the same auction, Reliance Jio Infocomm (then Infotel Broadband Services) won 20 Mhz slot for pan-India BWA spectrum for Rs 12,847.71 crore but the company is yet to announce its plan for rolling out services.

Qualcomm, Tikona, Aircel and Augere had also won BWA spectrum in some circles.

Last May, Bharti Airtel bought 49 per cent stake in Qualcomm's BWA venture for USD 165 million, aiding the Sunil Bharti Mittal-led group to offer services in 8 circles.

State-owned companies BSNL and MTNL were allocated one slot of BWA spectrum in their respective circles on payment of amount equivalent to the highest bidder in the service area.

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