Airtel plans to deploy 7,000 mobile broadband sites, pre-5G Massive MIMO technology and 10 MHz of 4G spectrum in 2300 MHz band to boost network capacity in Mumbai for data and voice in fiscal 2018-19.
Airtel indicated that the network expansion would effectively translate to deployment of 1 new site per hour throughout the year. The largest telecom operator does not reveal circle specific investment details.
Airtel is the third largest wireless operator in Mumbai, one of the high ARPU markets in India. Airtel has 7.94 million wireless users in Mumbai as on March 31 2018.
Vodafone India has 9.861 million wireless customers in Mumbai. Idea Cellular’s customer base in Mumbai was 4.697 million. Reliance Jio has 8.524 million mobile phone users in Mumbai. MTNL has 1.277 million customers in the Mumbai metro.
4G services in May 2015
Carrier Aggregation 4G+ in Aug 2016
VoLTE services in Sep 2017
4G on FD LTE 1800 MHz and TD LTE 2300 MHz spectrum
Added 3,300 new mobile sites and 200 KMs of fiber in FY 2017-18
Airtel engineers will deploy the pre-5G Massive MIMO technology across all major business hubs and residential locations in the Mumbai city.
Investment in Massive MIMO, a pre-5G technology, expands network capacities by 5-7 times on the same spectrum. Airtel recently deployed the Massive MIMO solution at Wankhede Stadium throughout the IPL.
The network investment will enhance the current mobile network in Mumbai by 30 percent, taking the total number of sites in the city to 27,000.
Airtel will also add 400 KMs of fresh fiber, taking the total fiber footprint to 2700 KMs for enabling high speed data transmission.
“We are stepping up investments by adding 7,000 sites and 10 MHz of TDD LTE spectrum,” Amit Tripathi, chief executive officer – Mumbai, Bharti Airtel, said.