Advantage of Airtel 5G With Respect to Coverage and Experience Explained

Airtel opted for the NSA version of 5G deployment, considering the market dynamics, consumer usage, use cases, handset eco-system, coverage, sustainability, existing 4G infrastructure and the topography of India. Airtel's 5G Network - Core and Radio Network - are fully future-proofed and can operate on NSA or SA modes. So, rest assured, as an Airtel customer, you will experience the best.

Highlights

  • NSA 5G can deliver the same coverage level with significantly fewer sites.
  • 700 MHz band is no different in the characteristics or capacity aspects compared to 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands.
  • As in 5G NSA mode, with fewer sites, Airtel can deliver the same capacity/coverage and user experience to millions of customers.

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Advantage of Airtel 5G, Coverage and Experience Over Competition ExplainedBharti Airtel is leading the 5G story of India with open and aggressive rollouts every other day. We have three telcos in competition in India, of which one is yet to announce its 5G plans, while the other two opted for Non-Standalone (NSA) and Standalone (SA) mode of 5G deployment. To be precise, Airtel opted for the NSA mode of 5G deployment, considering the market dynamics and the current scenario of the Indian market.

Unfortunately, misconceptions and wrong narratives are being spread, and we try to uncover the same through this story. As of date, Bharti Airtel is in an advantageous position compared to any telco in India for delivering an exceptional 5G Experience from a serious Business perspective.

Business Matters

We are only talking about telcos that are serious about Business, and our perception centres around it. Money matters, Return on Investment matters, and so as the business decisions taken by telcos which aptly suit the market of operation, consumer use cases, and investor interests while future-proofing the technology. Now that the context is set let's overview the unique advantages of Airtel 5G.

Airtel 5G Plus

Airtel opted for the NSA version of 5G deployment, considering the market dynamics, consumer usage, use cases, handset eco-system, coverage, sustainability, existing 4G infrastructure and the topography of India. From a consumer perspective, an end user could hardly differentiate the deployment type.

Also ReadAirtel 5G Plus Supports All Major Smartphones: Check Details

Spectrum Dynamics

There is a misconception that Airtel lacks the 700 MHz advantage, which is projected as a game changer. I'm afraid that's not right and is an exaggerated scenario. 700 MHz band is no different in the characteristics or capacity aspects compared to 800 MHz and 900 MHz bands (Sub GHz bands). Simply put, you get 5G signals, but with lagging speeds and battery drain, you can't call it an experience. The advantage of the 700 MHz band is exaggerated as it is not the capacity carrier but a coverage carrier. It's the Mid band (1800 MHz, 2100 MHz) and C band (3300 MHz), which act as workhorse layers to deliver the speeds you aspire for from a 5G network. The mid bands offer both capacity and coverage, and airtel is leveraging the same to provide an exceptional 5G experience with optimised deployments.

Uplink Aspect

Let's say a powerful booster is used to transmit the signal to your device. Similarly, your device needs to transmit the signal back to the cell tower, which may happen or may not and will drain away the battery or hamper the user experience on 5G. Airtel is not looking for such an experience and is leveraging the bands that can deliver both capacity and coverage. If you ask what uplink is, your photo/video uploads, video calls, uploading files to cloud storage services, and meetings need seamless uplink speeds to enjoy the 5G experience.

Radio Deployment

A Business is smart only when the right amount of resources are utilized, delivering maximum outcomes, and we feel Airtel is applying the same strategy. It doesn't make sense to compare a scenario when one telco achieves something using 6 Base Transceiver Station (BTS), and another telco achieves the same using 2 Base Transceiver Station (BTS). Who do you consider as competent and efficient? It's like winning the game with fewer moves. So far, Airtel's spectrum strategy and 5G deployment are also around the same, achieving more with fewer sites and leaving less carbon footprint. A core reason why airtel promotes its 5G is kinder to the environment.

You can check out the exact 5G launch details, circles, spectrum holdings and locations where Airtel 5G Plus is available in India on the page here.

Unique Advantages of Airtel 5G

  1. Airtel NSA 5G can deliver the same coverage level with significantly fewer sites. Of course, this matters as the energy, tower maintenance, and returns matter for the CAPEX involved.
  2. The 3300 MHz band of airtel travels farther, the band which does the Downlink on 5G delivering high speeds when 1800/2100 MHz bands, the 4G layer take care of uplink. So, the C band (3300 MHz) layer completely takes care of the Downlink delivered to your devices. So you get to experience higher 5G coverage. This means there is no dependency on another FDD 5G carrier to extend the coverage.
  3. This entire set-up enables faster call connect time on voice and faster uplink, considering the massive spectrum holdings of Airtel in the Mid band (1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 2300 MHz).
  4. In cellular Networks, as already explained above, without uplink, there is no seamless internet experience. Hence, even if the Downlink travels with boosted signals, it serves no purpose for any user except for showing the signal bars on the devices.

Also ReadBharti Airtel Continuously Added Subscribers for 12 Straight Months

Sites Don't Matter

This case of radios is introduced above. The number of sites deployed by a telco is not a measure of coverage or capacity in 5G. As in 5G NSA mode, with fewer sites, Airtel can deliver the same capacity/coverage and user experience to millions of customers than with a higher number of sites deployed in SA mode.

No Compromise on Customer Experience

Considering the 5G technology and deployments involved, Airtel has not followed a strategy that hampers the consumer experience or tried something without future-proofing its Network Infrastructure and Technology.

Conclusion

Based on our understanding of the deployments and technology, Airtel's 5G Network - Core and Radio Network - are fully future-proofed and can operate on NSA or SA modes. Therefore, there is no need for any customer to think about missing anything from a consumer experience perspective. So rest assured, you will enjoy the same 5G Experience with or without any extra words added to it. We will discuss other aspects in a different story.

Reported By

Telecom Analyst

Passionately following the Indian #Telecom Industry for over a decade from Business, Consumer and a Technical perspective. My primary focus area is Consumer & Digital Experience.

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