Bharti Airtel has become the first operator to launch 4G services across the northern frontier, including in the coldest inhabited regions of Dras, in Kargil district, and considered as the gateway to Ladakh.
The New Delhi-based firm has launched the services across 130 towns and villages, including Kargil, Leh and Dras. Airtel's network teams and partners overcame the challenge of extremely difficult terrain and harsh weather conditions, including sub-zero temperatures, to deploy 4G network in the region, the company said in a statement.
''This is a major milestone for India and for Airtel. Having pioneered 4G rollout in India, Airtel has been committed to expanding its high speed data networks to every corner of the country and contribute to the Government's Digital India vision. As part of Project Leap, we will continue to channel investments towards building a world class future ready network that touches every Indian,'' Ajai Puri, Chief Operating Officer (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said.
Besides connecting tae armed forces and the local population, Airtel's 4G deployment will also ensure that tourists visiting the region stay connected to high speed data services. Kargil War Memorial, Sangam, Magnetic Hill, Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Thiksey Monastery, Alchi Monastery, Lamayuru Monastery, Moon Land Lamayuru, Sakti towards pangong Lake, Stok Palace and Hall of Fame are amongst the several popular spots now covered by Airtel 4G, it said.
Under the Project Leap initiative, Airtel's nationwide 4G footprint now spans Ladakh in the North to Kanyakumari in the South and Tawang in the East to Kutch in the West. Airtel has committed over Rs 60,000 crore under 'Project Leap' to develop network and infrastructure across the country.
Airtel launched India's first 4G service in 2012 in Kolkata. Bharti Airtel has operations in 17 countries across Asia and Africa.