Telecom giant Bharti Airtel has made a big announcement today that is likely to affect a huge number of its subscribers in due course.
Telecom giant Bharti Airtel has made a big announcement today that is likely to affect a huge number of its subscribers in due course. Bharti Airtel is likely to discontinue its 3G sevices in the coming 3-4 years and is planning to refarm the spetrum thereby freed to 4G services. Speaking about the same during earning call earlier today, Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India and South Asia, Bharti Airtel said, “There is almost no spend that we are doing on 3G. Our view is in next 3-4 years we are likely to see 3G network actually shut down faster than 2G network because there are still 50 per cent of phone being shipped out in India that are feature phones.”
Vittal also informed that the company is investing in 4G technology to build more data capacity in the network. As per PTI, the telecom major will use 2100 megahertz band, which is used for 3G services, for 4G services.
“Where we have second career of 3G or third career then through flip of software you get incremental capacity on 3G. Most of that spectrum will finally go towards 4G for which we will need to have radio units,” Vittal said further.
The India and South Asia MD also informed that in some telecom circles, Airtel has installed modern 3G equipment which can support 4G services. However, initially deployed equipment for 3G services will need to be replaced for the new services to be implemented.
“Some of the older radios are pure 3G which we need to replace. It will take its time. I think that the answer for that will be function of how fast pick up of voice happens on VoLTE (4G voice call network). The moment that happens voice will not be required to be carried on 3G which can help reafrm us 2100 Mhz for 4G,” Vittal said.
Airtel, on Tuesday, posted sixth straight quarter of drop in earnings as its consolidated net profit dropped down to 76.5 per cent to Rs 343 crore for the September quarter compared to Rs 1,461 crore it registered in the same period last year. However, the telecom major managed to record a 4X growth in its mobile data usage during the aforementioned quarter. Even company’s mobile broadband customers increased by 33.6 per cent to 55.2 million.