Indian telecom company Bharti Airtel in collaboration with Qualcomm is set to roll out commercial 4G services in four cities across India, following a successful launch in Kolkata and Bangalore in March and earlier this month.
US-based chip-maker Qualcomm has acquired Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) spectrum to introduce 4G networks in Delhi, Mumbai, Haryana and Kerala. It has signed an agreement with Airtel under which Qualcomm has permitted Airtel to operate the new networks in these cities for the next two years till 2014.
The upcoming launch of 4G networks has come on the heels of Airtel's high stake partnership with Qualcomm. On Thursday, the teleco announced it has acquired 49 per cent of Qualcomm's 4G venture in India for a staggering Rs. 9.23 billion (INR 923 crore).
"We are delighted to partner with Qualcomm, who shares our commitment to the government's agenda of broadband for all," said Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman and managing director of Bharti Airtel, according to IBN Live.
Qualcomm will maintain the remaining 51 percent stake until 2014, after which Qualcomm will withdraw from the broadband venture but maintain technology services in the country, Reuters cited an unnamed source as saying.
"This partnership will combine the strength of Bharti's national telecom footprint and Qualcomm's technological leadership in the LTE TDD space. With a broadband ready network across India, Bharti is well positioned to lead the next phase of Indian's telecom revolution," Mittal added.
Apart from Kolkata and Karnataka, 4G networks are also available in Punjab and Maharashtra circles. The teleco has already issued 3G licenses across 13 circles in the country.