Airtel to add 13,000 new mobile sites in K'taka

Airtel to add 13,000 new mobile sites in K'taka

Telecom services provider Bharti Airtel on Tuesday said it plans to add more than 13,000 new mobile sites along with 4,500 kms of optic fiber across Karnataka by March 2019 as part of its Project Leap initiative.

Out of these 13,000 new sites, 8,500 have been already installed, while 2,500 km of fibre network has also been installed in current fiscal year. With these new installments, Airtel will have 39,000 mobile sites and 19,000 km long optic fibre network in Karnataka circle. The company will be investing about Rs 1,000 crore for this network upgradation in Karnataka, out of Rs 60,000 crore corpus for Project Leap. About 30% of such sites would be located in Bengaluru, the company said.

Airtel has 50% market share in Karnakata.

As part of this deployment, Airtel will also deploy pre-5G Massive MIMO technology across major business and residential hubs in the state to step up high speed data experience. Massive MIMO expands network capacities by 5-7 times on the same spectrum and delivers superfast data speeds despite large number of concurrent users at the same location.

The company also plans to completely shift to 4G. "We can't, however, stop the 3G services till the consumers have 3G handsets. Ideally, we would want to have 2G and 4G only," C Surendran, Chief Executive Officer – Karnataka, Bharti Airtel said.

The latest network deployment will enable Airtel to add massive high speed data capacity in the network to serve the explosive surge in data consumption led by increasing smartphone penetration and adoption of digital services.  

Airtel has over 29 million customers in Karnataka and its network covers over 39,000 towns and villages. The company launched VoLTE services in Karnataka in November 2017.