Indian telecommunications company Bharti Airtel has launched its third generation (3G) mobile service in the Assam area, providing customers with faster mobile internet access, video streaming and mobile TV.
“We are bullish in the North East as we expect 3G penetration to exponentially grow in the near future in the region,” said George Mathen, chief operating officer of Airtel’s Assam and North East circles. “As and when people experience 3G applications, we expect them to switch over to 3G.”
According to Business Standard, he said 30% of Airtel’s total 54 lakh subscribers in the North East are currently GPRS mobile users. He added that the telco had invested almost INR 80 crore to secure 3G licenses for the Assam and North East circles.
Assamese movie trailers and music videos are now available to 3G customers via the ‘Airtel Video Talkies’ service in in the city of Guwahati, with other regional urban areas following suit soon. Airtel’s 3G service is also available in Shillong, capital of Meghalaya – part of the North East circle.
The telco has secured licenses to operate 3G services across much of the nation, and now covers states in the North, North East and South of India. It expects to complete its HSPA-based 3G network roll out by the end of 2011.
By early April, when Bharti Aitel began its 3G roll out in Andhra Pradesh, the company had already racked up two million 3G mobile customers in India – having launched the service first in January, and providing coverage in Mumbai, New Delhi, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu.