DataWind is reportedly working on a 4G LTE phablet and is testing it with a leading telecom player in the US market. LightReading India has reported that the highly controversial Aakash tablet creator is gearing up to introduce a new 4G enabled phablet in the US in the second half of this fiscal year. As expected from Datawind, the phablet will be a budget device and will be placed within the $100 (Rs 5,426) segment.
Suneet Singh Tuli, CEO DataWind feels that India lacks 4G support for devices and presently has only Bharti Airtel providing its 4G services and that too through dongles and routers. Considering that India is still not equipped with the 4G technology, he has reportedly disclosed that the 5-inch device will not be released in India for now and will be initially restricted to the US only, which works on FDD-LTE technology for 4G services. “At present, we have plans to roll-out the device in the US only. We are observing the Indian 4G market and whenever the right time comes, we will introduce the India-specific device,” said he.
On the phablet market, Tuli believes that 4G will be driven by data services and for that big screen devices will play an important role for video and data consumption. He has thus planned to enter the 4G segment to keep in pace with the 4G market.
As far as the Indian release is concerned, knowing that Indian telecos like Reliance and Bharti Airtel and others, have adopted TDD-LTE technology for providing 4G services and Videocon Telecommunications is the only player for now to roll-out 4G services on FDD-LTE technology which is expected to get released by the 2013 end, chances are that DataWind will not bring the phablet in India anytime soon.. However, if launched, DataWind might become one of the first companies to launch 4G devices in India.