Bharti Airtel on Thursday announced the launch of its 4G LTE mobile services in 296 towns across the country.
The pan-India commercial launch of Airtel's 4G services follows the telecom operator's 4G trials in major cities across the country over the past year. These cities included Delhi, Hyderabad, Visakhapatnam, Madurai, Chennai, Coimbatore, and Mumbai.
Announcing the launch, Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO, Bharti Airtel (India & South Asia), said, "At Airtel, the customer is at the heart of everything we do and therefore we first opened our 4G network to some of them for their valuable feedback. With the help of the feedback received from the beta launches, we have now built India's first commercial 4G network that will make high speed mobile broadband a reality. The national roll-out today is another small step in our journey to be the most innovative and customer focused brand."
"We also believe that an open platform is critical to developing an ecosystem that nurtures innovation and enabling our consumers to access a myriad set of possibilities on their mobile phones. Our 4G network is therefore built on an open partner ecosystem model that brings together the best in the industry and introduces the market to these never before experiences. Together with our network and device partners, we have enabled a deeper proliferation of 4G in the country and I take this opportunity to thank them for working with us to introduce India to the amazing 4G experience," Gopal added.
Airtel also announced the launch of a new carrier agnostic mobile app - 'Wynk Movies' - which will offer a curated library of movies and other popular videos.
Airtel has also announced "go-to-market partnerships" with Samsung and Flipkart for 4G devices. The company had started its 4G services in 2012 with the first launch in Kolkata.
The telecom major has tied up with Chinese telecom equipment and network solution firm Huawei for 4G network rollout in Delhi circle.
Existing customers across these cities can now avail of a complimentary upgrade to Airtel 4G SIM, and get 4G data at 3G prices. 4G data plans start at Rs. 25. In addition, with every 4G SIM swap, Airtel is offering six months of unlimited music streaming and downloads on Wynk Music and five free movies per month for six months on the Eros Now channel of Wynk Movies.
Airtel also announced Infinity Plans starting Rs.999. These plans offer unlimited voice calls on mobile along with data benefits and access to Wynk Movies and Wynk Music.
Earlier this week, Airtel posted a 40 percent jump in consolidated net profit to Rs. 1,554.3 crores for the first quarter ended June 30, 2015-16, on account of sale of mobile tower assets and boom in data usage. It had posted net profit of Rs. 1,108.5 crores in the April- June quarter of last fiscal, 2014-15. Mobile data or Internet revenue of the company grew by 67.3 percent, year-on-year (y-o-y) basis, to Rs. 2,609 crores. The mobile data customer base of the company increased by 25.8 percent to 4.95 crores at the end of the quarter, from 3.93 crores in the year-ago period.
Written with inputs from PTI