Airtel 4G LTE Mobile Network Across India: The largest mobile network operator Airtel will soon launch support for 4G LTE compatible phones across in India.
Several tests have been taken on the service on iPhone 5s in the last week or so and here is a brief summary of Airtel 4G LTE network.
To be clear, only Airtel launched 4G LTE data service in India in April 2012 but is only now that they are bringing voice support. Unlike most American and European countries , the trade supported 4G is the 2300MHz band, popularly known as TD -LTE 40.
China and India are the only two major countries that supports TD- LTE for commercial use. Apple was the first company main phone to support this band LTE in their devices late last year with the launch of iPhone and iPhone 5s 5c. Airtel had previously worked with Huawei to launch a 4G LTE phone in India, but never saw the light.
IPhone and 5c 5s launch Airtel should have pushed to get his act right as to support 4G LTE phones.
Back in October of last year, Airtel acquired 100% of Qualcomm’s 4G network in India, who had access to the telecom circles of India Mumbai, Delhi, Haryana and Kerala.
Challenges With TD- LTE
Airtel insists that the deployment of TD -LTE 2300 MHz has been a great challenge. This particular band is deployed in 20 countries, more or less , and therefore lacks support ecosystem, device options and network scale.
More importantly, the band is weaker in providing indoor coverage compared with other modes of LTE.
Thus Airtel is intended to provide a consistent experience high speeds rather than flaky.
In fact, during the press conference last week , executives from Airtel deliberately ignored requests from the quote we can expect speeds of 4G LTE service. It is true that the best advantage of 4G LTE over 3G is the low ping rate, while maximum speed reached is only secondary .
Airtel 4G LTE Speed Test
That said, it is difficult for a company to convince end users about ignoring the sprints. Over the past week, people have been asking us to share the results of speed tests.
The iPhone 5s phones provided by Airtel were demo units and therefore could not install the application speed test .
Download Tests On Airtel 4G LTE
Since Airtel 4G LTE download speed test were conducted on iPhone 5s, many existing USB 4G dongle users were quick to point out that Airtel accelerates 4G LTE, which in most cases maxes out at 10 Mbps.
This is in line with what they said Airtel executives, so when they said they try to offer a uniform to all users instead of letting some people experience with good coverage rates explode.
Two discharge tests were taken to test the consistency of 4G LTE connection speed of Airtel. First, they have tried to download a 883MB Ubuntu ISO file, which was completed in 8 minutes and 3 seconds. The download speed was near consistent, ranging from 15.2 Mbps to 18.4 Mbps.
Then try to download a much larger, this time, the linux distro openSUSE file. The 4.3GB file downloaded in less than 33 minutes, which again was very impressive. For those who care, discharge tests were carried out in our home office where LTE coverage moved around -100 dB.
The overall experience using Airtel 4G LTE in iPhone 5s was good. The test shown best results in South Bangalore and its LTE coverage was good in most places, but a few. It is a known limitation that TD -LTE has problems with coverage inside buildings, and it was also evident in our tests.
Considering most people will be using the 4G LTE on the move, that’s not a major problem. But the best part of the use of 4G LTE on the iPhone is extremely fast and almost perfect in streaming YouTube. For someone so used to see the message that buffering videos even in 420p, it was amazing to drag the load bar (1080p ) Full HD videos without seeing any lag.
There is no advantage when it comes to voice calls though. Airtel is using the CSFB technology, not VoLTE (Voice over LTE). This means that the phone switches to 3G (or 2G) to make voice calls. VoLTE has considerable advantages over CSFB, with features such as HD voice and video calls in high definition.
For now, there is no difference when it comes to voice calls and SMS over LTE 4G Airtel.
In our limited testing , there was no significant difference in battery consumption. It was nice to enjoy near instant page loads and washes of high-speed video, but then it should not be only a handful of 4G LTE testing users here in Bangalore.
Provide a consistent experience will remain a challenge for Airtel, and they insist that they are working to improve the coverage too. At this time, only the iPhone and iPhone 5s 5c are compatible phones, but there have been reports of Airtel partner with local brands like XOLO bring affordable 4G phone for the Indian market.
We still hear about data plans Airtel 4G LTE and availability. But make sure to check back as I keep you updated on the launch plans for 4G LTE Airtel in India.