Vodafone To Launch 4G Services By Year-End
Vodafone India is planning to launch its fourth-generation (4G) mobile telephony services by 2015-end. The announcement comes days after market leader Airtel rolled out its own services.
The company said in a statement that key markets, including Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Bengaluru and Kochi, will be part of the first wave of the rollout. These circles together contribute close to 50% of the total data revenues for Vodafone India.
In addition, Vodafone India will introduce its own 3G networks in 7 circles including Assam and North-East, Uttar Pradesh-West, Rajasthan, Karnataka, Kerala and Odisha, to expand its overall 3G footprint to 16 circles across the country.
“Testing of 4G services has commenced successfully. Vodafone India has partnered with leading global technology infrastructure service providers for the network rollout,” the statement said adding that pan-India 4G services will be launched at “an appropriate time.
“With some of the latest technological developments on the anvil, Vodafone is building a robust and resilient network architecture with a strong backhaul to support the volumes and need for speed from customers,” the Vodafone statement said.
Globally, Vodafone has launched 4G in 18 countries. There are over 20 million 4G customers across the group and its 4G propositions are enhanced with a mixture of music, sports and TV content to increase adoption and usage. In preparation for the India rollout, Vodafone India had in 2014-15 set up a record number of over 23,000 tower sites, taking its overall network footprint to more than 1,31,000 sites, as per PTI report.
“Over the last few months, Vodafone India has taken several steps to modernize its radio network and switching systems. Major investments have been made in high-capacity fibre/backhaul to significantly increase global Internet connectivity.
Rival Airtel, which launched commercial operations for 4G services in 296 towns and cities earlier this month, is currently offering 4G data packs starting from Rs 25. The company also tied up with Flipkart to offer handsets with Airtel 4G SIMs, and with Samsung to facilitate SIM swaps. Samsung also offers Airtel 4G data benefits on select 4G devices.
Reliance Jio Infocomm, which will also be rolling out its complete commercial operations by December this year, stated that it is now present in all 29 states in India and has a direct physical presence in nearly 18,000 cities and towns.
Idea also announced its 4G launch plans by one year to 2016, as it mentions that prices of equipment and smartphones that support the technology have dropped. The 10 circles where Idea will be launching 4G services are: Kerala, Maharashtra, Goa, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh, Punjab and Haryana, Tamil Nadu, Orissa and North East.
As per data, Vodafone India reported 22.1 million 3G Internet connections for the quarter ended June 30, 2015. In comparison, the telecom operator had 10 million connections in the same period last year, and 19.4 million subscribers in the preceding quarter. This takes up Vodafone India’s total data connections up to 66.8 million, up 4.38% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) from 64 million.
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