It looks like Reliance Jio Infocomm may be among the last operators to launch 4G in India in many circles. Aircel Cellular has announced that it has launched 4G LTE services in two more areas – Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir.
The company had earlier launched its 4G services in Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Bihar and Odisha.
With this, Aircel has become as big as, if not bigger than, Bharti Airtel, in the 4G space in India. Bharti had launched its 4G services almost three years ago. However, the services are restricted to big cities such as Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune etc..
Reliance Jio is the only operator to have pan-India spectrum for 4G LTE. Airtel has it in eight circles, but has been unable to launch it in areas like Kerala, Mumbai and Delhi because of non-receipt of approval for its acquisition of the licenses from Qualcomm.
Vodafone and Airtel, however, are expected to launch 3G services on their recently acquired spectrum in early next year or late this year. Reliance Jio will launch its services in the first half of 2015, by which time it would complete about five years after it got the spectrum.
Aircel said it is now offering 2G, 3G and 4G services in Tamil Nadu and Jammu and Kashmir. Aircel, a unit of Maxis, is the leading operator in Tamil Nadu.
“Aircel’s enterprise customers will experience a 4G LTE high-speed network to receive dedicated internet and secure VPN (Virtual Private Network) services whereas its Home customers will experience various infotainment services on high-speed broadband that will help connect any Wi-Fi device to support services such as faster internet access, Smart TVs, Virtual Home Solutions, Home Security, online gaming and much more,” the company said.
Aircel typically prices its data below those of rivals. In 3G, the company’s data rates are about 20% below those of others.