Bharti Airtel along with Apple today launched India’s first 4G on mobile.

Now Airtel customers in Bangalore on Apple iPhone 5s or 5c will be able to experience 4G on their mobile at the current 3G prices. Customers have to just change their existing SIM to a 4G SIM to start enjoying 4G on mobile without any need to migrate from their existing data plan.

4G technology allows download of 10 movies in less than 30 minutes, uploading full holiday albums in less than 5 minutes by uploading two high quality photos per second and connect multiple devices without any experience constraint.

3G customers in Bangalore on iPhone 5s or 5c can start enjoying 4G speed at same price points as their existing 3G plan/pack. Customers on 2G/GPRS data plans/packs can also opt for any of the 3G plans/packs available and enjoy 4G speeds.

4G plan for heavy data users

In addition to these plans, for heavy data users, Airtel also announced the launch of a new 4G plan giving customers 10 GB 4G data for Rs 1,000. While data browsing will be on 4G network, voice calls will be routed on 2G/3G seamlessly with the CSFB (circuit switched fall back) technology.

Announcing the launch, Srini Gopalan, Director – Consumer Business, Bharti Airtel India, said, “Airtel has always set the technology trends in India and was the first operator to introduce 4G to the country. The information technology capital of India saw the advent of 4G in 2012 and today we are proud to announce the launch of the much awaited Airtel 4G services on mobile in partnership with Apple. We will together give customers in Bangalore the power to upgrade to cutting edge 4G LTE technology at no additional cost.’’

Airtel mobile customers using the Apple iPhone 5s & 5c devices can start experience Airtel 4G immediately. While existing Airtel mobile customers have to just update their existing SIM to a 4G SIM and select their preferred pack (any existing 3G pack is automatically 4G) or plan to start enjoying Airtel 4G on the move; new customers can just buy the 4G SIM and any 3G data pack/plan to get started. The SIMs will be available at all Airtel stores across the city. Customers can also SMS 4G to 53636 or call 121 for more details.

4G features

4G allows users to get browsing speed that is five times faster than the existing 3G speed. Higher speed enables users to experience services such as high definition video streaming with zero buffering, seamless video calling, and multi-player high resolution gaming While data browsing will be on 4G network, voice calls will be routed on 2G and 3G network. But the user will not get to know because of circuit switched fall back technology.

This technology is needed because LTE is packet-based network running on Internet Protocols while voice calls are circuit-switched.

When an LTE device is used to make or receive a voice call, the device "falls back" to the 3G or 2G network to complete the call.

The launch assumes significance because 4G services around the world have picked up more on mobile phones compared to desktops and laptops.

While Airtel had launched 4G services in 2012, it has not seen much traction primarily because data cards are not conducive for users on the move.

(This article was published on February 14, 2014)
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