In a bid to develop a pan-India 4G footprint, telecom operator Bharti Airtel has inked a deal of $200 Mn with mobile technology arm of Nokia Corp, Nokia Networks to build the country’s first 4G network in the 1800 MHz band in six cities including Mumbai, MP, West Bengal, Odisha, Punjab and Kerala.
The FDD-LTE technology will be used for Airtel’s 4G network in the 1800 MHz band. This technology is older and more widely accepted globally than TDD-LTE.
Presently, all 4G networks in India runs on the 2300 MHz band, which was auctioned by the government as broadband wireless spectrum (BWA) in the 2010 spectrum auctions, and use TDD-LTE technology.
Airtel has 20 MHz of 4G spectrum in the 2300 MHz band in each of the eight circles of Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Punjab and Maharashtra.
Earlier in 2010, during the spectrum auction, the telecom operator won a total of 97 MHz of airwaves in the 1800 MHz band across 15 circles. 4G currently provides the fastest wireless internet connectivity in the country, with download speeds of up to 40 Mbps and upload speeds of up to 20 Mbps.