Airtel latest annual report has revealed the telecom operator’s Capex productivity and Opex productivity during 2018-19.
Airtel said the return on capital employed (ROCE) has improved to 5.1 percent from 4.6 percent in the previous year.
Capex productivity of Airtel reached 40.6 percent in fiscal 2018-19 as compared with 49.3 percent in previous fiscal and 64.51 percent in fiscal 2016-17. Opex productivity of Airtel was 46.3 percent in fiscal 2018-19 vs 42.16 percent in fiscal 2017-18 vs 40.62 percent in fiscal 2016-17.
Airtel’s Opex (excluding access charges, cost of goods sold, license fees and CSR costs) was INR 373,976 million, representing an increase of 7.3 percent over the previous year
The capital expenditure for the fiscal year was $4.1 billion, an increase of 7 percent, reflecting the growth in the coverage and speed of network.
The company had 181,079 network towers, compared to 165,748 network towers in the last year. Mobile broadband (MBB) base stations were 417,613 at the end of the year, compared to 298,014 at the end of last year.
Airtel is the first operator in India to provide pre 5G experience by deploying 4CC CA and LAA technology in the network.
Airtel has showcased 5G capabilities during Indian Mobile Congress 2018, with peak user throughput of 1.5 Gbps throughput using commercial grade CPEs and 3 Gbps using prototype device.
Airtel also demonstrated 5G use-cases such as 3D hologram, AR/VR based online gaming and ultra-high definition video streaming. Radio network & packet core deployed by Airtel across India is hardware ready to support 5G-NSA architecture.
Airtel deployed LTE 900 technology in 10 circles which offers significantly better indoor 4G coverage. The company announced plans to deploy Ciena’s software platforms to build one of the world’s largest photonic control plane networks in India to enable super-fast broadband experiences over 4G / 5G / FTTH architectures.
The backbone network spanning 130,000 kms will use available fiber resources efficiently to enable super-fast broadband experiences over 4G / 5G / FTTH architectures to serve the exploding demand for high-speed data services.
Airtel has tied up with Ericsson and conducted India’s first Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) trial over a live LTE network, which enables use of unlicensed spectrum in 5GHz band to enhance mobile broadband speed and experience.
The company’s engineering team has deployed Massive MIMO technology at the Kumbh mela, a regional festival in India, this year and offered virtual reality based immersive experience to the visitors.
Airtel said these investments and innovations helped reinforce the company’s position as the fastest network for download speeds for the Q1-Q2 and Q3-Q4 of 2018-19, according to many independent industry leaders in speed and performance testing.