Airtel’s CEO, Sanjay Kapoor, maintained that the carrier was set to launch 3G services in India before the end of this year while speaking at the Nokia Conversations event in New Delhi. Kapoor said that the carrier was awaiting government clearances to flip on the 3G switch.
When asked about unlimited data plans, he insisted that fair usage policies are here to stay. “Unlimited data plans are not sustainable in India because of the high cost of spectrum allocation and the scarcity of spectrum. However, consumers will have the choice of affordable Internet access with sachet plans for daily or weekly access,” he told the audience of this invitation only event.
Kapoor also revealed that the carrier is looking at alternative technologies to cater to ‘hotspots’ – areas where network congestion might lead to poor service experience. Airtel is likely to go with LTE as Kapoor was present at a recent LTE demonstration by Nokia Siemens Networks at the India Telecom event held in Delhi earlier this month.
The panel, which comprised of Nokia’s D Shivakumar apart from industry analysts and Kapoor, opined that the success of 3G in India would eventually depend on the user experience and the government’s ability to provide more 3G spectrum in the future.