Airtel Gearing Up To Boost High Speed Data Network With Project LEAP
Airtel has taken some more steps towards its goal of its complete network transformation. The telecom provider, which is one of the leading in India and was at one point of time, amongst the largest int he world, plans to get back on track. Airtel’s 4G network already covers 100% of Karnataka. It is the only telecom provider in the region to offer 4G, 3G and 2G services. to give a recap of its journey in the state, here are some numbers:
- 4G services on 2300 MHz launched in 2012
- 4G services on 1800 MHz launched in 2015
- VoLTE services launched in November 2017
- Towns and villages covered by network – 39,000
Now, in an effort to maintain their lead in this territory, the company will rollout 13,000 new mobile tower sites and also spread a 4500 km long optical fibre network that will enable them to boost high speed data network capacity.
This rollout will also include deployment of Pre-5G Massive MIMO (Multiple Input, Multiple Output) technology in vital residential and commercial hubs. However, the success in Karnataka is just a demonstration of the ongoing Project LEAP.
Airtel started working on project LEAP back in 2015 and planned a massive investment of Rs 60,000 crore. Some of that has already been used up and the remaining will be spent in the upcoming future.
The key points of project LEAP are:
- Create India’s first Open Network – An open network will allow users to see the mobile network coverage in their area with the help of simple colour schemes. These colour schemes will define whether the network quality in their location is excellent, good, moderate or has no-coverage.
- Users will also be able to locate company outlets and service centers with the help of a graphical map an easy to read colour schemes.
- Under project LEAP, Airtel also plans to strengthen their network of mobile towers throughout the nation. The company will upgrade current towers and will also increase the number of towers.
A New Telecom Leader?
Airtel might be taking these steps as a counter-attack towards Jio. Airtel posted it first loss in 15 years, months after the arrival of Jio. Furthermore, Jio is continuously gaining traction since its launch. Jio scaled quickly because it adapted 4G technology faster than Airtel and now Airtel is trying to use the same trick to get back its lost marketshare. Airtel wants to be prepared when the 5G devices come out in 2019. It will allow Airtel to fight hard against big telecom players like Jio and the recently announced merger of Aditya Birla’s Idea and Vodafone group.