Chandigarh: Telecom operators Idea Cellular, Airtel and Vodafone today launched 3G services in Punjab, expanding their footprint to 21 out of 22 service areas covering 28 states in the country.
While 3G spectrum in Punjab is owned by Idea Cellular, Airtel and Vodafone can use it under 3G intra circle roaming agreement.
“Idea is the only pan-India GSM operator to offer 3G services in Punjab. Idea's 3G services will offer enhanced user experience to subscribers, allowing them to stream audio and video files at high speed...watch movies, mobile TV and play HD Games,” Idea Cellular's Chief Operating Officer (Punjab, J&K and HP) Sudhir Pradhan said at the launch.
Meanwhile, Airtel in a statement said that 3G services were made available to its users after the company signed Intra Circle Roaming (ICR) pact with other operators who had the licence for providing the services in the state.
Vodafone also said that it has launched the third generation services in the state.
Starting from Chandigarh, Nawanshahr, Jagraon, Malerkotla, Nabha and Ludhiana, Idea will expand its 3G network to cover 170 towns across the state with 1800 3G cell sites by the end of financial year 2015.
Mobile internet on 3G network is about 25 per cent faster than internet on 2G.
Airtel and Vodafone 3G footprint will follow Idea's expansion in Punjab.
Idea Cellular has 3G spectrum in 11 telecom circles, Airtel has in 13 circles and Vodafone in 9 service areas.
The trio have signed 3G intra-circle roaming agreement under which they can provide 3G services even in those area where they did not win spectrum by using each others spectrum.
These companies including Idea recently won more spectrum using which they can provide 4G services as well.
“Our recent spectrum win in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz band has now given us the ability to further expand our 3G network, and launch 4G services in key revenue markets including Punjab, at an appropriate juncture,” Idea Cellular Chief Operating Officer, Corporate, P Lakshminarayana said.
Idea is providing 3G mobile internet service starting at Rs 19 for 80MB data valid for 2 days to unlimited 3G plans starting from Rs 645.
The company has plans of introducing a range 3G devices like dongles and smartphones in Punjab.
Vodafone India in a statement said 3G services will be available in Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jagraon, Kharar, Malerkotla, Nabha, Nawanshahr, Panchkula, Mohali and Zirakpur with immediate effect and will be rolled out in other cities in a phased manner.
Vodafone Punjab is offering multiple packages to suit customer requirements, the statement said.
With the launch of 3G services in Punjab, Vodafone India's 3G footprint is present pan India excluding Odisha, with its own network and through Intra Circle Roaming (ICR) agreements with other operators, it added.