Malaysian-owned wireless network operator Aircel has revealed that it has successfully tested a 3G network in Chennai. The trial was conducted in association with Chinese equipment vendor ZTE Corporation. ‘We have successfully completed our 3G trials in Chennai in accordance with the 3G-Partnership Project and the guidelines issued by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT),’ said Jagdish Kini, Aircel’s Group Chief Executive Officer. The company hopes to roll out the service commercially in December 2007, once 3G concessions have been awarded by DoT. In the meantime, DoT has permitted some wireless operators to conduct 3G trials in selected cities up until 31 March 2007. Aircel was given permission to conduct trials in Chennai, Coimbatore, Bhubaneshwar, Shillong and Guwahati.
Aircel plans to roll out 3G networks in more than 20 cities over the next two years, at the same time as installing WiMAX infrastructure in more than 40 cities, at an estimated cost of USD400 million.