New Delhi : One of the top mobile operators of the country Bharti Airtel said on Monday it would launch 3G wireless data services before the end of this year. Bharti, which won rights in an auction this year to offer 3G services in 13 out of 22 telecoms zones, is the third private operator in the country after Tata Teleservices and Vodafone to unveil plans for offering mobile broadband.
Tata Teleservices has announced plans to launch 3G services by Diwali, while Vodafone has said it will launch the services by early 2011.
“Bharti Airtel will launch its 3G services before the end of 2010, to usher in broadband data revolution in the country,” Bharti Airtel said in a statement.
3G mobile services will allow high-speed content download and broadband services.
Airtel had paid the highest Rs12,295.46 crore (Rs122.95 billion) for bagging 3G spectrum (radio waves) in 13 telecom circles.
They include Delhi, Mumbai, Bengaluru, Chennai and Hyderabad, which account for 21% of data traffic and are expected to have the strongest uptake of 3G services, the company said.
Bharti Airtel, which operates in 19 countries, already offers 3G services in Seychelles. It is also running 3G broadband services in Sri Lanka, Jersey and Guernsey.
Airtel is also in advanced discussions with other operators across the country for offering 3G services to its customers. This will not only ensure seamless roaming, but also offer 3G broadband to its entire customer base in India, Bharti Airtel CEO Sanjay Kapoor said.
Already, public sector telcos BSNL and MTNL are offering the 3G, or third generation, services.