Airtel 4G Service May Launch Soon In Delhi

23/04/2015 9:24 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:25 AM IST
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The Bharti Airtel Ltd. logo is displayed at the company's office in Gurgaon, India, on Thursday, Sept. 16, 2010. Bharti Airtel Ltd. is in talks with other Indian mobile operators to form an alliance to offer third-generation services nationwide. Photographer: Pankaj Nangia/Bloomberg via Getty Images

NEW DELHI — Bharti Airtel may soon launch 4G services in Delhi as it has got the go-ahead in this regard from the Department of Telecom (DoT).

Airtel's 4G launch in Delhi has been mired in a legal case. The telecom major had got the required spectrum for 4G services through acquisition of Wireless Business Services Pvt Ltd (now Airtel Broadband Services).

The DoT had raised a demand of Rs 436 crore from Airtel for merging Airtel Broadband Services (ABSPL) with itself. The company opposed it and approached TDSAT regarding the matter.

TDSAT in its order dated February 9 said: "The petitioner will be free to operationalise the spectrum subject to filing an undertaking before the court that in case the petition fails, it shall pay to the Union of India the sum of Rs 436.09 crore along with interest as may be determined by the tribunal within eight weeks from the date of judgement."

According to sources, DoT has complied with the TDSAT order and gave the go-ahead to Airtel. Airtel, however, would have to give an undertaking before the court that in case its petition fails, it will pay Rs 436.09 crore to DoT.

Sources said the telecom major has tied up with Huawei for 4G network rollout in Delhi circle. A Bharti Airtel spokesperson refused to comment on the matter.

ABSPL, formerly Wireless Business Services Private Limited - a telecom company founded US chip maker Qualcomm - was acquired by Airtel in 2013. ABSPL holds broadband wireless access (BWA) spectrum in four service areas - Delhi, Mumbai, Kerala and Haryana, that can be used for 4G services.

ABSPL holds internet service provider licence while Airtel has Unified Licence. Merger would allow Airtel to seamlessly provide even voice telephony using ABSPL spectrum.

Bharti Airtel is already offering 4G services in 19 cities across the country. The company had announced in January that it plans to launch 4G services in Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, North East and Punjab by December 2015, Karnataka by February 2016 and Rajasthan by April 2016.

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