4G or 'long term evolution' (LTE) network has just been launched in Kolkata by Airtel, first in India, as a trial before the operator starts offering services in other parts of India, probably in Bangalore after 30 days as next destination. There are other service providers too in the pipeline to be rolling out their 4G network services in different parts of the country such as Reliance, Aircel, Tikona, Qualcomm and Augere.
The big question here is still unanswered to many as how much will this fourth-generation going to cost us, the users.
Believe me. Believe me it will of course burn a crater in your pocket. Yes. The 4G USB dongle is price tagged as Rs 7,999, which is too much. Isn't it? If you want to use 4G network on your 3G phone then you need to get customer premise equipment (CPE), which again is an expensive one. CPE is price tagged as Rs 7,750.
These entry level 4G dongles and CPEs will offer a speed of 20 to 40 Mbps, and Airtel says of introducing more advanced dongles and CPEs in near future.
Fourth-generation, because the telecom operators have failed with 3G in India. Most promising revenue for them is the video streaming. It will be better than that of 3G.
There are no 4G phones so far in the Indian market. By this year-end some 4G smartphones will be introduced such as HTC Evo 4G, Samsung Galaxy Nexus, Motorola Droid Razr Maxx, New iPhone, Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket, HTC Sensation 4G, Nokia Lumia 900 4G and BlackBerry Bold 9900 4G.
It is theoretically said 4G can achieve up to 100 Mbps of speed, but how much it will be in practical is yet to be seen.
Is it real 4G?
No. According to Communications and IT minister Kapil Sibal, it is basically Broadband Wireless Access (BWA) as real 4G will be made available once 700 Mhz bandwidth is available in the telecom infrastructure and that may not be possible before this financial year-end.