The fire had caused massive disruption of the network and Airtel had to route its services through other service providers. Manu Talwar, CEO, mobility, Bharti Airtel, M&G, said, We have added three switches last year to make sure that there is enough capacity to add up new subscribers while we retain the existing ones. Airtel currently has 2.79 million subscribers in the Mumbai circle and about 5.69 million subscribers in the Maharashtra and Goa (M&G) circle (end of February 2009).
Airtel now wants to focus on in-building sites (IBSs). Talwar said, The in-door cell sites will make us a key differentiator among the existing and the new players in the circle. The firm has already added 2,000 cell sites including 450 in-building sites (IBSs) in the last one year making a total of 9,000 cell sites in Mumbai and M&G circle. About 50% of these new cell sites are based in the rural areas.