3G services from Airtel pushed till 2011

By siliconindia   |   Tuesday, 28 December 2010, 19:06 IST   |    14 Comments
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New Delhi: With the government putting its leg in the 3G launch citing security reasons, the country's largest telecom operator, Bharti Airtel, has delayed its 3G services owing to its lack of preparation and the doubtful future of 3G video calls, reports Tejeesh NS Behl of mydigitalfc.com. As per a company executive the 3G services from Airtel may well see the light of the day in 2011. A official who declined to be named said, "The network is not yet ready as testing is currently on and besides, the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) has to grant approval for the start of 3G video calling services. We do not want to offer 3G services to our customers in bits and pieces." The company had earlier announced an October launch of its 3G services but that kept getting delayed. Private companies, Tata Teleservices and Reliance Communications have started 3G services in few circles but the government has asked them to discontinue 3G video calling services because of security issues. However there are no such restrictions for state owned telcos, BSNL and MTNL, which launched their 3G services in 2008. Airtel will start off by launching the services in few circles first. The official commented, "We will be launching in certain circles first, as did the other operators rather than simultaneous rollout across all the circles where we have spectrum." The company has paid 12,296 crore as spectrum licence fee and has tie-ups with Nokia Siemens Network (NSN) and Ericsson for installing high speed packet access (HSPA) network in its 3G circles in India. The time for testing of the network is anywhere between three to six months.