More reports on: Telecom

Airtel opens full network for viewing under Project Leap

17 June 2016

Bharti Airtel, India's largest telecoms firm, has announced a new initiative, 'Open Network', under Project Leap, its national network transformation initiative.

With this, Airtel has opened up its entire mobile network information to its customers through an interactive online interface. The new interface will display Airtel's mobile network coverage/signal strength across India in addition to network site deployment status.

Using a simple colour scheme, the interface will allow customers to check if the Airtel mobile network in an area is excellent, good, moderate or non-existent, along with the status of corresponding sites serving the area - existing, required, being upgraded or forcibly shut down. The interface uses geospatial tools and other technologies for accurate reporting of network coverage.

The new interface will also allow customers to report their network related issues in an easy fashion, Airtel said in a release.

In addition, customers can also contact the Airtel Call Centre or walk into any of the Airtel Flagship Stores across the country to report their network related issues. All Airtel Call Centres and Flagship Stores have been specially equipped with solutions based on the new interface to respond to network related issues.

Gopal Vittal, managing director and chief executive (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel said, ''Open Network is a paradigm shift in the way we engage with our customers. With this initiative, we are establishing complete transparency with regards to our mobile network and opening ourselves to customer scrutiny and feedback. For us, the network experience is paramount and Airtel customers can now take charge of network issues and be a part of the solution, rather than waiting for it to happen.

''Today, getting permissions to put up a network site is perhaps the biggest challenge in delivering a seamless experience to customers. We hope customers will actively come forward and help us make our network better.''

Airtel is also deploying a range of innovative technology solutions including small cells, indoor solutions, wi-fi hotspots and carrier aggregation technologies to improve network experience inside buildings. Over the next three years, the company plans to deploy over 1, 00,000 such solutions.

Airtel is swapping its legacy networks and base stations with smaller, more compact and efficient technologies that will significantly improve customer experience. All these modem base stations will use a single radio access network to manage multiple spectrum bands.

The company is creating more network capacity through acquisition of additional spectrum and deployment of fiber. Airtel plans to cumulatively deploy more than 550,000 km of domestic and international fibre in order to drive down latency, improve customer experience and serve the growing demand of data services for years to come.

During the financial year ended March 2016, Airtel invested over Rs15,000 crore across India towards deployment of over 88,000 sites. This is the largest network deployment anywhere in the world outside of China, the release said..

Recently, in an industry first, Airtel announced a 25-per cent more stringent voluntary benchmark of 1.5 per cent for mobile call drops against the current TRAI prescribed norm of 2 per cent under the Quality of Service regulations.

Starting Friday, the company is rolling out a 360 degree advertising campaign around the Open Network initiative. The campaign from Taproot-Dentsu takes a bold approach to communicating the initiative with a media-mix of TV, print, outdoor and digital.

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