Airtel Wakes up to Reliance Jio’s Challenge – Announces Project Leap

Airtel Challenge JioBharti Airtel’s Sr. Management Team has finally woken up to the challenge posed by a $10 Bn startup called Reliance Jio Infocomm. Under the vision of Mukesh Ambani, Reliance Jio started as a Greenfield Telecom operator and has rolled out enviable Infrastructure if we believe in this presentation of Mr. Tareq Amin. A must watch if you are in the Telecom Sector to get a glimpse of what Jio will unveil 27 days from now šŸ™‚

Key features of Airtel’s Project Leap are as follows,

60% of Airtel’s network will be mobile broadband enabled by the end of FY16. The company will deploy 70,000 BTS in FY16 and 160,000 in the next three years. It had a 195,000 BTS at the end of March 2015 of which 49,000 BTS were 3G. It will expand mobileā€broadband coverage to all towns and to 500,000+ villages in India.

Heterogeneous Data Play – The focus will be indoor coverage, as most data consumption happens at static locations. Airtel will deploy a range of solutions (such as carrier aggregation) using multiple technologies across spectrum bands. Over the next three years it will deploy over 100,000 solutions through a combination of Wiā€Fi hotspots, small cells, and indoor solutions.

Strengthen Optical Backhaul It will deploy more than 550,000km of domestic and international fibre to cater to fastā€growing data demands. Backā€haul infrastructure is one of the most critical components for superior quality of data services and global experience indicates that backā€haul expenses (which include intraā€city and interā€city fibreā€optic coverage) are one of the biggest components of capital expenditure.

Wired Broadband – Airtel will modernise its 3mn homeā€broadband network by upgrading its copper assets through vectoring technology [just VDSL not even GFast or VPlus Broadband], which will enable it to offer speeds of 50Mbps from current 16Mbps by 2016. It will also use domestic infrastructure to deploy a range of solutions to connect millions of SMEs across the country. We’d have least expected Airtel to upgrade existing copper, a massive FTTH rollout for Homes in Tier 1 and Tier 2 Cities, but guess we are all disappointed. Nonetheless, competition is good for Consumers and the development of the eco-system.

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