Aircel to roll out 3G services in two months

Abhishek Law Kolkata | Updated on January 10, 2011 Published on January 10, 2011

Has licences for 13 circles; discussing tie-ups for others

Mobile service provider Aircel will roll out 3G services within another 45 to 60 days in all 13 circles depending on Government clearances. The company is also in talks with other operators to ensure 3G services in areas where it does not have licences.

Aircel is a joint venture between Malaysia-based Maxis Communication and the India-based Apollo Hospitals.

“We will start 3G operations provided all clearances are received from the Centre. It will take another 45-60 days to roll out 3G services in all 13 circles,” Mr Mallikarjuna Rao, Chief Technology Officer, Aircel, said. He was speaking on the sidelines of intaglio 2011, the annual meet organised by the Indian Institute of Management (Calcutta).

While Tata DoCoMo and Reliance are the only two private operators to have begun 3G services, no private operator is currently offering video calling facilities as a part of their 3G portfolio. State-owned BSNL and MTNL are the only operators currently offering video calling as a part of their 3G services.


In its notice to the operators, the Directorate of Telecommunications had in December 2010 observed that law enforcement agencies could not intercept video calls in real time. As a result, operators were not allowed to provide video calling services through their networks.

“Operators currently need to come up with a technology to allow call intercept by the security agencies. Once the issue is sorted out operators can roll out 3G services,” Mr Rao said.

Aircel, Reliance and Bharti Airtel are the only three companies to have 3G licences in 13 of the 22 telecom circles. Aircel will provide 3G services in 13 circles that include Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Kolkata, Kerala, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh (East), West Bengal, Bihar, Orissa, Assam, North East and Jammu & Kashmir.

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Published on January 10, 2011
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