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Bharti Airtel announces INR 60,000 crore investment on a comprehensive network transformation program called Project Leap
TT Correspondent |  |  30 Nov 2015

Bharti Airtel Limited, on Monday announced the launch of a massive network transformation program “Project Leap”. Aimed at perceptibly improving network quality and delivering the best customer experience, this strategic project will see an investment of Rs. 60,000 crore in the next 3 years. This investment of Rs. 60,000 crores is over and above the Rs. 1, 60,000 crores Airtel has already invested in its active and passive network, spectrum, fiber, submarine cables and systems till date. This ambitious program makes the Airtel investment one of the largest by a private sector company in India.

“At Airtel, customers are at the heart of everything we do and delivering a world-class experience for them has always been our topmost priority. Our large customer base covers rural, urban, homes and enterprises and we are obsessed about delivering an exceptional experience for each one of them so as to win them for life. Today we are excited to launch “Project Leap” which will catapult the Airtel network to be a world class network in the coming three years. We are confident that this new initiative will deliver a truly differentiated customer experience and reinforce our commitment to build a future ready network,” said Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO, Bharti Airtel (India & South Asia).
The comprehensive ten point program under “Project Leap” will enable Airtel to take a decisive lead in delivering a differentiated customer experience.
1. The largest deployment of network infrastructure in the history of India. Airtel will deploy over 70,000 base stations in FY 15-16 making it the largest deployment in a single year since its inception. By March 2016 over 60 percent of Airtel’s network will be mobile broadband enabled. In three years, Airtel will deploy over 160,000 base stations, effectively doubling its presence from what it has today on the ground.

2. Broadband for all in India. Airtel will expand its mobile broadband coverage to all towns and over 250,000 villages by March 2016. In three years Airtel plans to offer mobile broadband to over 500,000 villages in the country.

3. World class indoor experience in every city. Airtel will deploy a range of solutions including small cells, carrier aggregation solutions, wi-fi and the use of multiple technologies across different spectrum bands. This will enable the company to provide state of the art coverage on both voice and data services inside buildings across cities. Over a period of three years, Airtel plans to deploy over 1, 00,000 solutions through a combination of wi-fi hotspots, small cells and indoor solutions. 

4. A powerful future ready internet backbone to serve the growing demand of data services in India. Airtel will cumulatively deploy more than 550,000 Kms of domestic & international fiber in order to drive down latency, improve customer experience and serve the growing demand of data services for years to come.

5. Massive modernization of existing networks. Airtel will swap its legacy networks and base stations over a three year period and replace them with smaller, more compact and efficient technologies that will significantly improve customer experience. All these modern base stations will use a single radio access network to manage multiple spectrum bands.

6. Future proof home broadband network. Airtel will modernize its over 3 million strong home broadband network by upgrading its Copper assets through new age Vectoring Technology. This technology will enable Airtel to offer 50 Mbps speeds from its current 16 Mbps by 2016. In addition Airtel plans to deploy Fiber to the home and offer upto 100 Mbps speeds

7. Connecting every small business in India. Airtel will use its extensive domestic infrastructure to deploy a range of solutions that include fiber to the building as well as Internet Wireless Access Network (IWAN). As part of this program, Airtel plans to provide seamless connectivity to the millions of small and medium enterprises.

8. World class service operations centre. Airtel will invest in a broad range of tools that includes SON (Self Optimising Networks for automatic network optimization), Geo spatial network tools for targeted network planning, capacity enhancements, CEM (Customer experience management) as well as software defined networks that will dramatically improve customer experience. 

9. Massive reduction in carbon footprint. Airtel will make substantial investments in green technologies over the next three years. It will deploy modern and lesser power consuming radio technologies that include compact base stations and small cells. It will also leverage multiple band antennas and deploy new battery technologies that will significantly lower energy consumption and reduce diesel dependency.  As a result of these initiatives Airtel will reduce its carbon footprint by upto 70% on a per unit basis in the next 3 years.

10. ‘Leap’ in their locality on a near real time basis.
“We are confident that “Project Leap” will help Airtel build a smart and dynamic network that will significantly improve the quality of both voice and data services across the length and breadth of the country. More importantly we are excited to share the “Project Leap” plan with each of our customers in their specific locality. This we believe will help us serve our customers with transparency and clarity” added Gopal Vittal.

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30 Nov 2015(IST)  
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