Bharti Airtel today made an announcement regarding its network upgradation in West Bengal circle. Airtel stated that it would make significant investments to expand its high-speed network footprint across West Bengal as part of its network transformation program - Project Leap. During FY18-19, Airtel plans to roll out 10,000 new mobile sites across West Bengal to boost its network capacity for high-speed data and voice services. This rollout would translate to the addition of one new mobile site per hour. In addition, Airtel will also start deploying Pre-5G Massive MIMO technology in Kolkata to offer a high-speed data experience to customers.
Sameer Anjaria, Chief Executive Officer – West Bengal & Odisha, Bharti Airtel, said: “As part of our endeavour to build a future-ready network to deliver a best-in-class experience to our customers, we are stepping up our network investments across West Bengal. Airtel has pioneered the rollout of Massive MIMO in India, and we will now undertake wide-scale deployments of the cutting-edge technology in key business and residential hubs across Kolkata. This will truly add to the smartphone experience for Airtel customers.”
Airtel had recently deployed Massive MIMO technology at Eden Gardens during the IPL 2018 and stated it received extremely positive customer feedback. For the unknown, Massive MIMO technology, which will be deployed at major business hubs and residential locations in the city, will expand network capacity by 5-7 times over the same spectrum, and delivers faster data speeds despite a large number of concurrent users at the same location.
That being said, the planned rollout will augment the number of mobile sites in the state of West Bengal by 35%, taking the total number of sites to 38,000. Airtel’s optic fibre footprint in the state will also get a boost with the addition of 2,000 kms of fresh fibre rollout, taking the total footprint to 17,000 kms.
Furthermore, Airtel stated that it's already witnessing a steady surge in its VoLTE traffic in Kolkata on the back of the availability of a seamless 4G network with fallback capability. The telco also believes that the fast-growing availability of Airtel VoLTE compatible handsets is helping customers to enjoy HD voice calls with faster call setup time.
To recap about Airtel in West Bengal, the telco has rolled out more than 7200 mobile sites in FY17-18 along with 1,100 kms of the optical fibre. Airtel launched its VoLTE services back in December 2017 and now has its network reach spread across 51,000 towns and villages across Bengal.