India's Idea aims to launch LTE by January

17 Sep 2015

India's Idea Cellular reportedly aims to launch LTE services by the end of January next year, allowing it to compete in the nation's nascent 4G market.

Idea plans to launch 4G services in 10 of India's telecom circles, Indian media is reporting, citing sources.

The operator has 4G licenses in 11 circles, and spent nearly $5 billion during the massive March auction to ensure it has the spectrum required to roll out 4G.

With the launch plans Idea is joining a growing number of operators launching or preparing to launch 4G services in the market.

Bharti Airtel already operates a TD-LTE network and recently launched a trial FDD LTE network in 20 cities. Aircel has also launched 4G services.

Vodafone meanwhile plans to launch 4G services in Calcutta, Mumbai and Delhi by December, while Reliance Jio is getting ready to introduce its extensive 4G network by the end of the year.

The introduction of Reliance Jio to the market is expected to introduce even more cut-throat competition to an already hotly competitive market, with 4G and other data services expected to be a key battleground.

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