Indian Telecom Airtel Launches its First 4G Service for Customers in Africa
Bharti Airtel Limited, the Indian multinational telecommunications services company, has launched its first 4G service for its customers in Africa. Airtel’s first commercial LTE network in Africa has been deployed in Seychelles, a country with a population of less than 100,000.
Airtel operates in 20 countries across South Asia, Africa, and the Channel Islands, being the largest cellular service provider in India and the world’s third largest mobile telecommunications company by subscribers, with over 275 million subscribers.
Airtel will launch the service on a state-of-the-art network based on FD-LTE. Airtel will deploy a nationwide LTE 800 MHz network, which is expected to cover around 10,000 LTE subscribers in the first phase. Airtel has probably opted for a small country like Seychelles as a way to test its service, as well.
Mr Danny Fure, Vice-President of Seychelles, was present at the launch event, and said the following:
The deployment of the next generation mobile network across the Seychelles will enable an enhanced mobile experience and reliable services; and will facilitate new and exciting opportunities for businesses, the society and the people in the country.
Mr Christian de Faria, Airtel Africa’s CEO, also added his input:
Today’s launch is a major milestone for Seychelles and Airtel in Africa. We already have Africa’s widest 3G footprint, being present in 17 countries. We are delighted to now provide leadership in setting the technology standard for 4G services in Africa by rolling out this cutting-edge LTE network. I would like to thank the team involved in helping fulfill this achievement.
In India, Airtel has launched the 4G services on mobile from February 2014, with the first city to get the service being Bangalore. At the beginning of this year, Airtel had around 100,000 4G subscribers in India. While the company still has a lot of work to do with the deployment of 4G in its home country, it is expanding its service across other continents, as well.