Aircel and ZTE Corporation announced that the companies have entered into a partnership for deploying 4G LTE (News - Alert) network infrastructure to launch Aircel’s 4G operations in South India. Aircel is poised to become the second telecom operator in India to launch 4G services once the company rolls-out its commercial 4G operations. However, the company has not yet made any official statement regarding the time frame for rolling out the 4G services for its customers. In 2010, Aircel (News - Alert) secured 4G licenses for eight circles at a cost of INR 3,438 crore.
In a release, Anupam Vasudev, Chief Marketing Officer at Aircel, said “Aircel is betting on data being the driver of future growth for the company and the sector. The huge demand for internet-enabled devices such as smartphones and tablets among the young population, along with increase in consumption of data on internet, and rising demand for content are some of the factors fuelling the exponential growth in data.”
As per the terms of the newly signed partnership, the first phase will see ZTE’s (News - Alert) Indian arm deploying 4G LTE network infrastructure for Aircel in Chennai, few parts of Tamil Nadu and other important circles where Aircel has a significant presence. Aircel has a 20 percent share in the Chennai market and the launch of commercial 4G operations is expected to strengthen the company’s retail as well as enterprise business. Aircel’s move to launch 4G operations is expected to give a strong momentum to India’s 4G services segment, which currently has only Bharti Airtel (News - Alert) operating in this space.
Speaking of the partnership, Xu Dejun, Chief Executive Officer for Indian operations at ZTE, said “In the initial phase of our rollout, we aim to offer our customers some of the highest data speeds in the country - in excess of 65 Mbps.”
The LTE technology would continue to emerge as a critical aspect in India with a growing demand for high speed data access particularly in the metro cities. However, mobile handsets supporting the technology are currently quite expensive and the LTE ecosystem is expected to get a strong push once low-cost mobile handsets are available in the market.
The 4G data can currently be used only on laptops or personal computers using a USB Dongle. The 4G segment in India is expected to witness a huge stir when telecom operator Reliance Jio Infocomm rolls-out its 4G commercial operations. The company is the only operator in India to have pan-India 4G airwaves and the company could just make the services work on mobile phones. Reliance Jio Infocomm is yet to launch its services while the company has completed test runs at multiple locations.
Aircel is a mobile network operator with interests in offering voice and data services offering 2G, 3G, broadband, LTE and other value-added services.
ZTE Corporation is engaged in the manufacturing of telecommunication equipment and is the fourth largest mobile phone maker and fifth-largest telecom equipment manufacturer in the world.
Edited by Ryan Sartor