Airtel could become the first carrier in India to offer LTE services on a smartphone later this month. The carrier, which offers 4G LTE services in Kolkata, Chandigarh, Pune and Bangalore, is reportedly planning to launch the first 4G LTE smartphone that can work on its network in India later this month, TelecomTalk reports.
UPDATE: Airtel has confirmed users in Bangalore will be able to use its 4G network on compatible smartphones in three weeks from today.
— Airtel India (@airtelindia) December 5, 2013
Till now, Airtel only offered 4G LTE modems and Wi-Fi base stations. It had applied to DoT to allocate phone numbers for its 4G services. BGR India had earlier exclusively reported that Xolo was planning to launch its first 4G LTE smartphone, the LT900 in India and was looking at launching it in Bangalore along with Airtel. Last year, Airtel had announced plans with Huawei to launch the Ascend P1 LTE in India but nothing seems to have come out of it.
Airtel has been aggressively working on its 4G LTE services, acquiring a 100 percent stake in Qualcomm’s 4G network in India in the wake of Reliance Jio Infocomm’s upcoming pan-India 4G LTE network, which has received TRAI’s nod for offering voice calling service.