Union Telecom Minister Kapil Sibal Tuesday launched India's first broadband wireless access (BWA) services based on 4G technology in Kolkata. Airtel Inc. has become the first telecom player of India that is offering this service in the some selected circles.
Launching Airtel's 4th Generation (4G) services in Kolkata, Telecom Minister admitted that 3G services have not been as popular as 2G.
Giving the reason behind it's failure, Sibal said there is deficiency of low-cost devices and the required liquidity in the market to invest in the infrastructure.
"We will give the environment to the industry to manufacture low cost quality smart phones. But it is the industry, which has to deliver. This is the biggest challenge for the industry," said Sibal to media after launching the service.
"3G has not delivered because they paid such huge prices for the spectrum and there is no liquidity in the market for them to invest in the infrastructure and the devices to deliver 3G, for which 2G was successful and 3G was not successful."
He hoped that the industry would keep this in mind and "ensure that people of this country have low cost devices".
A successor to the 3G and 2G families, 4G is expected to be five times quicker than 3G services. It would offer services such as high-definition mobile TV and video conferencing.
Asked when the 4G will be rolled out in other cities, the company's chairman and managing director Sunil Mittal said, "We are working very fast to launch in the other circles that we have.
"Hopefully, within this month it will be launched in Bangalore, within weeks followed by Pune, and then Chandigarh."
Airtel, which had bagged BWA spectrum in four telecom circles - Kolkata, Maharashtra, Punjab and Karnataka - for Rs.3,314.36 crore in 2010, selected Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE to manage its services in Kolkata.
The other players are yet to announce plans to rollout 4G services.
--With IANS Input--
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