Bharti Airtel could as well be the first Indian carrier to offer 4G LTE services on the smartphone by the second half of December 2013. The telecom operator which at present provides 4G LTE services in Kolkata, Chandigarh, Pune and Bangalore, is planning to launch the first ever 4G LTE smartphone that shall be functional in Indian network. Till date, Airtel has just offered 4G LTE modems and Wi-Fi base stations. It had earlier applied to DoT seeking phone-number allocation for its 4G services.
Here’s the tweet in which Airtel announced the 4G LTE smartphone launch-
— Airtel India (@airtelindia) December 5, 2013
ET states that the company has adopted Circuit Switched Fall Back (CSFB) technology to offer this service, and with CSFB deployed within the network, it shall be even able to offer voice-calling facilities to its LTE subscribers via 2G/3G network. It was just earlier this year when Airtel announced the successful CSFB trial runs in Pune, Kolkata and Bengaluru.
As Airtel makes use of TD-LTE to offer 4G services, it’s mandatory for the user to have a smartphones with TD-LTE support to avail this service, which by the way is not available in the Indian market at present. XOLO was planning to launch its first 4G LTE smartphone LT900, but we’re not sure of its developments right now. Also, Airtel had made plans with Huawei last year to launch Ascend P1 LTE in India, but that too didn’t work out yet.
Recently Airtel acquired a 100 percent stake in Qualcomm’s 4G network in India.