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Vodafone to launch 4G service in 4 cities: Sunil Sood

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MUMBAI: Vodafone India will shortly launch 4G services in Gujarat, Haryana, UP-East and West Bengal, and in turn, expand its fast mobile broadband services coverage to nine markets, covering 70% of the company’s data revenue, Chief Executive Sunil Sood said Wednesday.

“Vodafone India will have 4G in 1000 towns by the year end, ” Sood said.

At present the country’s second-largest mobile carrier operates 4G services in Delhi, Kolkata, Mumbai, Karnataka and Kerala on the 1800 Mhz band.

Sood gave assurances that the quality of Vodafone India’s 4G coverage in the four new circles would be maintained with existing spectrum.

He, however, declined comment on whether the company is using “narrow band 4G”, which uses less than 5 MHz of spectrum.

The Vodafone India’s mobile network, he added, “is now 5G ready, and needs merely a software update to launch fifth-generation services when needed”.

According to industry experts, a 5G network is expected to be able to handle 10,000 times more call and data traffic than current 3G or 4G networks. Data download speeds on 5G networks are likely to be anything from 10 to 100 times faster than 4G, they say.

But as a mobile broadband technology, 5G is still some years away, and the first 5G phones are slated to arrive by 2020, according to international news reports. South Korea isn’t likely to see any 5G trials until 2017 and Verizon and AT&T are also reportedly expected to roll out 5G networks in 2018 in the US.

On the striking down of the telecom regulator’s call drop compensation order by the Supreme Court, Sood said “he respected the apex court judgment”.

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