Aircel is reportedly gearing up to launch its 4G LTE services in the first half of 2014 in India, competing against Reliance Jio to become the second player after Airtel to offer 4G LTE services in the country. Anupam Vasudev, chief marketing officer, Aircel has told the Economic Times that the company plans to debut with the 4G LTE services in its established markets like Chennai within the next 3-6 months.
Currently, only Airtel offers 4G LTE services via dongle and Wi-Fi routers in select circles namely Kolkata, Bengaluru, Pune and Chandigarh, and will also start 4G services (via the Circuit Switched FallBack (CSFB) technology) on smartphones in Bangaluru from this month. Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm has for long been working on the 4G LTE network in India, and was earlier rumored to launch the services by early next year, but might take even longer.
Vasudev told the publication that the company has now got support from the banks for capital expenses on the 4G rollout, which were earlier reluctant to offer funds due to its loss making operations as well as considering the operator’s promoters alleged involvement in a corruption case.
However, now the company reportedly has claimed to have achieved a break-even point through higher revenues and lower cost. “Cost has come down through network cost saving, negotiation with service vendors, controlling roaming costs.” Further, he added that, “The focus is very clear that you need profitable growth. That has been our endeavor for the last one year. And we will have to continue doing this for another year before making any major investment.”