Bharti Airtel and Xolo set to launch 4G phone in India

India's smartphone maker Xolo is set to launch its first 4G smartphone in conjunction with Bharti Airtel.

Lately, Xolo has been aggressively marketing its devices, especially on television, with promotional banners and ads appearing on primetime. Now, Xolo will be launching its first 4G smartphone with Bharti Airtel, according to reports from The Times of India. Xolo is the first Indian brand to offer a time-division duplex long-term evolution (TD-LTE) smartphone in India, as shipments will start by the end of the month.

Xolo has plans to launch a series of 4G devices at different price ranges, supporting TD-LTE technology, in 2014. Furthermore, Xolo also plans to ship more than half a million devices this quarter alone, as it predicts that sales for 4G devices will be competitive by 2015.

As previously reported, currently, Bharti Airtel is the only network in India with a 4G LTE network, and even then, it's only in select cities. Furthermore, Bharti Airtel recently signed an agreement with Reliance Jio for sharing network infrastructure in order to avoid duplication.

Personally, I would like to eventually see 4G LTE technology available across India. Only then would I consider buying a 4G LTE device. As it currently stands, with both device and network availability limitations, consumers don't appear to be that interested in making the switch.

What I've also realized is that in addition to most subscribers being content on either a 2G or 3G network, some aren't aware that 4G is available in select cities, or even available at all. Clearly, consumers need to be informed in order to make a decision, and I really don't feel like the telecom operators have made much of an effort to inform them.

By the same token, besides network availability issues, there's also a lack of 4G devices available in the Indian market. If you walk into your local bazaar or market, they simply don't carry 4G devices. You usually need to go to the high-end shopping malls, and already you know you'll be paying a premium because you're buying something from the mall, not your neighborhood.

However, with Xolo bundling its 4G smartphone with Bharti Airtel, I'm sure its retail outlets will soon start carrying the devices, too. At least they'll be another option for buying a 4G device.