Citing Datawind CEO Suneet Singh Tuli, the report states that Datawind is currently testing these devices with an US telco and will be launching it in second half of the fiscal 2013. Tuli also claimed that these devices will be available in a sub-$100 price range.
The report states that the phablet would be based on the FDD-LTE technology, which is the standard technology adopted in the US. Elaborating on its India availability, Tuli told that this device will be limited to the United States, however they plan to launch an India-specific device “when the time is right”. Tuli didn’t disclose any specific details on the device.
Note that majority of 4G players in India, including Bharti Airtel and Reliance, will be rolling out its 4G services using the TDD LTE technology, with an exception of Videocon, who is looking to deploy its LTE service using FDD technology by second half of 2013.
4G Rollout Status in India: Only Airtel has launched its 4G services in the country in limited cities including Pune, Kolkata, and Bangalore. Reliance Industries, which has pan-India BWA spectrum in the country, is reportedly planning to launch its 4G service in December 2013.
Earlier this month, MTS India had also stated plans of launching LTE services on CDMA spectrum. Tikona Digital has also reportedly invested in 4G gear but it hasn’t rolled out its 4G service in India yet. The company has 4G licences in five circles including Gujarat, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh-East, Uttar Pradesh-West and Himachal Pradesh. Also, worth noting that there are no 4G-compatible handsets available in the country. Airtel also offers 4G services through an external dongle and router.
Datawind and Aakash
Datawind had found itself in a dire situation with the Indian government due to the delay in the Aakash tablet delivery. In March 2013, there were reports that the government seems to have dumped the Aakash tablet project, which turned out to be just a confusion with the Minister of Human Resource Development MM Pallam Raju.
Yesterday, A PTI report (via The Economic Times) suggested that Datawind has shipped one lakh Aakash units to the government, thereby completing the deal after almost two and a half years.
Aakash Project Developments Till Now
Feb 04, 2009: The $10 Laptop: A Myth
Sep 03, 2010: HCL Wins Contract For 100,000 $35 Tablets For India
Sep 29, 2011: Indian Govt Expected To Launch $35 Tablet On 5th October
October 5, 2011: Indian Govt’s $35 Tablet Finally Launches As Aakash; Costs Rs 2250
November 2, 2011: What They’re Saying About The Aakash Tablet
Feb 3, 2012: Uncertainty Around The Future Of The Aakash Tablet
November 14, 2012: Indian Government Unveils Aakash 2 Tablet; Aakash In Education
November 27, 2012: Aakash 2 Manufactured In China And Not India; Datawind Refutes Allegations
March 25, 2013: Report suggests that Indian Government is looking to shut down the Aakash project. However, Minister of Human Resource Development MM Pallam Raju however contradicted his statement and said that the government is planning to launch the next version of Aakash tablet shortly.
May 1, 2013: Datawind CEO Tuli claims that Datawind has shipped one lakh Aakash units to the government, thereby completing its deal.