Shimla: Bharti Airtel launched 3G services in the city here today, making it the first city beyond metropolitan Delhi in upper north circle to support the new technology which has been thrown open for subscription.
After having flagged of a 3G motorbike rally Sarang Kanade, chief operating officer (COO) upper north mobile services at Airtel said the services has been made available after the technology was tested for three months to give customers a seamless network.
After Shimla, the service will be rolled out in other cities of north India which include Chandigarh. Within Himachal, 3G service would be extended to other cities over the next two months, said Kanade.
Of the 50 tower sites in Shimla, 40 have been made 3G enabled for providing a seamless network and at launch day we have already provided the service to 350 of our regular subscribers.
Airtel claims to have a subscriber base of 17 lakh customers in Himachal of which 2.5 lakhs mobile users are subscribing to GPRS services.
There are about 25,000 subscribers in Himachal and about 5000 in Shimla of our mobile services who are using high end handsets that can support 3G services, said the COO. The company has also entered into a device partnership with I Phone for expanding the new service, he added.
Having paid Rs 12,200 crore of obtaining 3G licenses to operate the service in the country, Airtel has launched the service in 45 cities and claims to have added 3 million customers for the network that provides 20 Mbps high speed internet and a host of innovative application capabilities on their mobile devices, which include tablets and laptops.
We believe that Airtel will lead the data and internet revolution in Himachal, said Kanade.
Besides Bharti, Reliance communications, BSNL and Idea have started 3G services in Shimla market that is crowded with as many as 10 mobile telephony players operating around.