Airtel has partnered with Apple to launch its 4G service for iPhone 5S/5C customers in Bangalore. The operator has announced that the 4G data plans for both prepaid and postpaid customers will be available at the current 3G prices. With this launch, Airtel has become the first operator to launch the 4G services on mobile in the country.
Back in December, Apple had confirmed that the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C will work on Airtel’s 4G network. Airtel claims that the iPhone 5S/5C customers on Airtel can switch to the 4G service without migrating from their current 3G data plans/pack, and at the same price. Currently the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C are the only smartphones available in the market that support TD-LTE in the 2300MHz band that Airtel uses. Some Indian smartphone brands had announced compatible Android smartphones but they are not available in stores yet.
However, users will need to swap their existing SIM cards for a 4G network SIM to access the services. Airtel users on 2G/GPRS data plans/packs can as well access the 4G services by opting for any 3G plans/packs.
For heavy data users, Airtel has announced a new 4G plan which gives 10GB of 4G data for Rs 1,000.
Airtel is using the CSFB (circuit switched fall back) technology for providing 4G service in India. So Airtel customers on 4G will be able to browse data on 4G network, while the voice calls will be routed via 2G/3G network.