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Airtel closing Kolkata 3G operations, to move to 4G

A Credit Suisse report published in February said Airtel 4G offers the best download speeds in general at around 12Mbps based on its study conducted across over 30 cities.

Bharti Airtel has begun the process of shutting down its 3G services and migrating such customers to its 4G network. The company on Friday became the first incumbent telecom operator to have shut down its 3G network in Kolkata and said that it has refarmed the 900 MHz spectrum being used for 3G to further strengthen its 4G network.

3G technology, which came to India only around 2011, has thus seen the fastest eclipse. Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel, said, Going forward, we plan to refarm all of our 3G spectrum across India and deploy it for 4G in a phased manner. Sources said that in the next six months, the entire 3G network will be shut down and subscribers moved to 4G.

Airtel will continue to have 2G subscribers as they comprise around 70 per cent of its total subscriber base and migrating them to 4G will not be as easy as the 3G users since they do not have smartphones.

However, the telecom company has started the process of weeding out low paying 2G subscribers by making it mandatory that customers recharge every month for a minimum Rs 35 voucher. (FE)