Vodafone India, the second largest telecom operator of our country which has 4G presence across 5 circles and preparing to offer 4G services in other 4 circles, might launch 4G services starting this week in those circles in a phased manner.
According to our sources who are working with the telecom operator in this matter, shared with us that the operator has already tested 4G services in several places in those circles which are West Bengal, Gujarat, Haryana & U. P. East. ‘Unlike rapid 3G expansion, the company’s 4G services would be rolled out slowly in a phased manner, starting with major cities across those circles.’ said a Vodafone employee on request of anonymity.
Vodafone is already offering FDD LTE network on 1800 Mhz in Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Karnataka & Kerala and plans to use the same frequency airwaves for 4G rollout in the new circles as well. Out of the 4 new circles Vodafone has less than 5 MHz of spectrum in Haryana and West Bengal where it has to initially use narrow band LTE till it manages to get more spectrum.
Compared to regular 4G speeds, narrow band 4G offers much lower data speeds but operators like Telenor India are already offering 5-10 Mbps download speeds in some areas using the same technology. We’re expecting Vodafone’s narrow band 4G speed would be similar to that speed.
In circles like Gujarat, Haryana & West Bengal the company has already started offering 4G SIM upgradation at zero cost. Also, customers who are booking 4G SIM card would get additional 4G data once they launch the high speed data network. With 4G launch in these circles where Vodafone dominates the GSM market share would help the telco to battle with other 4G players including Idea & Jio. Also it would become the third largest 4G operator with 4G presence across 9 circles, after the launch.
The British telecom giant’s Indian unit which is nearing the 200 million subscriber mark soon is also looking to expand 4G services in other circles through spectrum trading route with smaller operators.