Airtel expands 4G LTE network to 296 towns in India


Airtel 4G network

Bharti Airtel today said its 4G LTE services are commercially available in 296 towns across India.

This follows the trial of services in select cities and the feedback received from 4G customers.

Bharti Airtel is investing heavily in 4G network expansion to take on Reliance Jio Infocomm, a telecom venture owned by billionaire Mukesh Ambani. During the quarter ended June 30, Airtel India has invested INR 22,166 million for mobile networks and mobile money.

Last month, Reliance Jio Infocomm said it has a direct physical presence in nearly 18,000 cities and towns in all of the 29 states of India.

Airtel kicked off its 4G journey in India in April 2012 by launching India’s first 4G network in Kolkata.

Bharti Airtel does not share the number of 4G subscribers across its network. Its 3G subscriber base increased 10 percent to 21.36 million.

Airtel, which is also expanding its 3G services, last week said it has deployed more than 4,000 3G sites in the first quarter of fiscal 2016 to boost its mobile Internet revenue. Data customer base of Airtel increased 7 percent to 49.47 million from 46.38 million. Data Average Revenue per User (ARPU) rose 3 percent to Rs 181. Data usage per customer grew 8 percent to 706 MB.

Last month, Vodafone India said it started 4G trials in select towns. On the other hand, Idea Cellular, the Aditya Birla group firm, said it will launch 4G in 2016. The other two prominent telecom operators Reliance Communications and Tata Docomo do not have 4G license.

Airtel 4G is available to customers across smart devices including mobile phones, dongles, 4G hotspots and Wi-Fi dongles.

“With the help of the feedback received from the beta launches, we have now built India’s first commercial 4G network that will make high speed mobile broadband a reality,” said Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO of Bharti Airtel (India & South Asia).

Airtel customers can enjoy 4G at 3G data prices with packs starting at INR 25. With every 4G SIM swap, Airtel is offering six months of unlimited music streaming and downloads on Wynk Music and five free movies per month for six months on the Eros Now channel of Wynk Movies.

Airtel has introduced a range of Infinity Plans starting Rs 999. These plans offer unlimited voice calls on mobile along with data benefits.

Baburajan K
[email protected]