Telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Tuesday, January 15 launched its 4G services in Andaman and Nicobar islands, offering high-speed mobile data connectivity.
Airtel, which so far offered 2G and 3G services in the archipelago, has 1.56 lakh subscribers in Andaman and Nicobar islands and over 40,000 of them have 4G handsets, a company official said.
The new services were flagged off by a 4G video call between Member of Parliament Bishnu Pada Ray and Telecom Secretary Aruna Sundararajan. With this, Airtel becomes the first operator to launch 4G services in the islands.
Speaking on the occasion, Sundararajan said that there has been a quantum leap in the connectivity in Andaman and Nicobar islands in the last 3-4 years. She said that ISRO has also promised improved connectivity from the current 2 Gbps to 3.6 Gbps in the coming months, supplementing ongoing efforts to strengthen network and infrastructure in the islands.
Last month, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced a number of development projects including a submarine optical fibre cable between Chennai and Port Blair, and a State Wide Area Network (SWAN) project connecting 12 major islands.
"In addition to the optic fibre, the launch of 4G services by Airtel and the planned satellite connectivity, the department is also focusing on improving the intra-island connectivity...We expect that there will be a huge improvement in status of connectivity in Andaman and Nicobar islands," Sundararajan said.
In a statement, Airtel said that its 4G services will enable digital offerings like HD quality video streaming, fast downloads and uploads, and high speeds internet browsing.
Airtel 4G services will be available in Port Blair to start with, and will be gradually expanded to other parts of the islands. Customers can upgrade to 4G SIM for free and choose from prepaid and postpaid plans that come with premium bundled content like Netflix, Amazon and Zee5, the statement added.
Airtel 4G will be available across a range of smart devices including mobile phones, dongles and 4G hotspots.