Airtel launches trial FDD LTE network

Dylan Bushell-Embling
15 May 2015

India's Bharti Airtel has launched a trial FDD LTE network in Chennai over the 1,800-MHz band.

The operator currently offers TD-LTE services in 20 Indian cities, but this marks the first time the operator has adopted FDD technology.

As part of the trial, all Airtel customers in Chennai will be offered a free upgrade to a 4G SIM, with services charged at existing 3G prices.

Airtel has also partnered with Samsung to expand 4G device penetration, with the two companies agreeing to mutually promote each others' products in their respective retail outlets.

Samsung's India stores will also participate in the SIM-swap program, and offer bundled Airtel 4G SIMs along with Samsung 4G handsets bound for the Indian market.

“As more and more Indians show a preference for consuming data and content over their mobile devices, we at Airtel... have made significant investments in building a robust 4G network here,” Bharti Airtel CEO for Kerala & Tamil Nadu George Mathen said.

“We look forward to our customers’ valuable feedback towards delivering a truly world-class 4G experience for this city.”

Airtel launched India's first 4G service in Kolkata in 2012, and now also covers the cities of Bangalore, Pune, Chandigarh, Amristar, Bathinda, Hoshiarpur, Jalandhar, Kapurthala, Ludhiana, Moga, Mohali, Panchkula, Patiala, Phagwara, Aurangabad, Nagpur, Nasik, Vasai and Chennai.

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