Airtel has become the third private carrier in India to announce 3G launch plans, revealing its services will go live by the year-end.
The operator will offer services in all thirteen circles where it won a 3G license, and said it is in advanced talks with other carriers regarding roaming agreements that will open the technology up to the rest of its customers.
Rival Tata DoCoMo will start 3G service on November 5 and Vodafone Essar has said it will launch in early 2011.
Bharti, India’s biggest operator by customer numbers, has hired Ericsson, Nokia Siemens and Huawei to deploy its network, and is promising new m-commerce and health services.
Vodafone Essar last week named Bharti as a potential roaming partner, WSJ.com reported.
Bharti topped India’s 3G auction bids, paying 122.05 billion rupees ($2.7b) for its spectrum.