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Olive Launching India’s First 4G phone

OliveSmart-VS300-Android-gingerbread-smartphoneOlive will soon release an HSPA+ capable phone in India on Feb. 9 – the first such smartphone in the country.

HSPA, or high speed packet access network is often called 4G or even some times 3.5G (3.5th generation) technology. It is faster than 3G networks, and enables theoretical downlink speeds of up to 14 Mbps and uplink speeds of about 5.8 Mbps.

In practical use, this means that a 4 minute song will take about 4 seconds to download, according to a recent demonstration at the Consumer Electronics Show 2011 in Las Vegas by U.S. wireless operator T-Mobile.

HSPA networks also have up to five times more downlink capacity and twice as much uplink capacity than previous technologies do. This helps the carrier provide cheaper Internet services.

Olive’s 4G smartphone will probably be powered by Qualcomm’s HSPA+ R7 chipset and will be bundled with Aircel’s network. Both Qualcomm and Aircel are launch partners for Olive’s new 4G smartphone.

At the launch of Olive’s phone on Feb. 9, the chairman of Olive Telecom, Ajay Khanna, Qualcomm’s India and South Asia President Kanwalinder Singh, and Aircel’s Chief Operating Officer Gurdeep Singh will be present. There’s been no talk of an Aircel HSPA network so far.

Late last year, we reported that Reliance Industries and Ericsson had carried out next-generation network tests successfully. Both these companies had tried LTE or Long Term Evolution networks that are clubbed along with Wimax as Broadband Wireless Access or BWA technologies, also called 4G some times.

India is expected to be among the first Asian countries to use next generation wireless networks such as 4G – which would be high time, considering that 3G is a 9-year-old technology and could have been deployed at least four years ago in India. Which still leaves one question unanswered – what has Aircel to do with HSPA? We’ll catch the details as they surface.

Meanwhile, the upcoming phone will be the first touchscreen smartphone from Olive Communications. Indian manufacturer Olive was among the first companies to launch Android tablets in India and its new 4G smartphone too is widely speculated to run Android and version 2.2 aka Froyo.

The latest version of Android – Gingerbread- was launched about 2 months ago and hasn’t been proofed yet. But, Android 2.3 turns the phone into a mobile Wi-Fi router, which would be a useful feature on a high speed, efficient 4G network.