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In Photo: Vodafone officials felicitate a senior citizen couple at a hotel in Kolkata in celebration of the company crossing 2-crore subscribers mark in Bengal. – Newsmen photo.  

By A Newsman

Kolkata, 20 August: VODAFONE has begun trial for 4G mobile telephone services in West Bengal. The disclosure came on Thursday coinciding with the company crossing 2 crore subscribers mark in Bengal and adjoining Sikkim, making it the number one private telephone company in the region.

Of the 2 crore plus subscribers, Kolkata alone accounts for 49.94 lakh subscribers.

Vodafone’s business head for Kolkata and Rest of Bengal Circles, Anand N Sahai, said that the company has started trials for 4G services and it would be introduced in Bengal in due course.

But he declined giving a deadline for rolling out the 4G services here. “All I can say at this stage is that we are carrying out trials,” Mr Sahai said during a media interaction on Thursday.

“To introduce 4G services, we do not require any fresh clearance from the Centre; we can straightway launch 4G services using the same spectrum on which we operate our 3G services now,” he clarified in response to a query.

In celebration of crossing the 2 crore subscriber mark in Kolkata and the Rest of Bengal circle that extends up to Sikkim and Andaman, Vodafone today launched a dedicated toll free helpline (9830198301) for senior citizens.

Men above 60 years and women above 58 years can call the helpline from 10 am to 7 pm on all days except Sunday, for all phone related queries and assistance. This apart, the company said that it would send executives to the doorsteps of senior citizens for SIM replacement and collection of documents on getting a request for the same.

Mr Sahai said that to offer better phone and data services to all their subscribers, Vodafone has added 871 new 2G towers and 2,311 3G towers across West Bengal since April last year. “With this, we now have about 10,148 tower sites in the region and this is the highest among all private mobile operators,” he said.