After launching 4G services in Kolkata; Vodafone India has now stepped in to provide 4G coverage across two more cities of West Bengal--Barasat & Kalyani. The two major cities of West Bengal falls in the outskirts of Kolkata telecom circle.
According to sources, in terms of coverage of 4G LTE network, Vodafone lags behind Airtel and RJio which have a decent LTE network across the circle. Even after launch of 4G services, Vodafone 4G is present only in key major parts of Kolkata. But, with their expansion of 4G in areas like Barasat and Kalyani, the company is focusing on few populated and high ARPU generating area.
Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel is providing 4G in almost 65-75% of the Kolkata metro area. In Barasat , the district headquarter of North 24 Parganas , we got 4G signal across the Champadali more , Suncity mall , City Mall - DakBunglow more , Stadium and colony more area .
Vodafone 4G speed was ranging between 12 Mbps to 15 Mbps for download and for upload it was around 3 Mbps to 5 Mbps . One of the Vodafone executives confirmed that the network is live from the last few days and customers those have 3G packs can access 4G network without any cost if they have upgraded their SIM to 4G SIM and using 4G devices.
While we got the 4G signal in Kalyani , though it wasn't much stable but we found the network is live across major residential blocks, station, markets and around central park area. During our speedtest, in some places we got up to 25 Mbps download speed where lowest speed was 3 Mbps at few locations. But surprisingly, we haven't found any 4G network in Kanchrapara, the area just next to Kalyani and having a large population.
During their launch of 4G services, Vodafone COO Naveen Chopra promised that they will cover the entire Kolkata circle by July 16 in three phases. However, their 4G network isn't present in many key areas and other towns where their rivals are offering pretty fast 4G experience with an average downloading speed of 18 - 20 Mbps.
Also their 4G network wasn't stable enough and pretty slow to connect. Even in some places we found Vodafone's 3G network was faster than 4G network. The company is using spectrum in 1800 MHz to offer 4G services in Kolkata.