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Telecommunications service provider Bharti Airtel will be rolling out pre-5G massive multiple-input multiple-output (MIMO) technology in Mumbai this fiscal.

The company has already tested this technology throughout the recent IPL T20 cricket matches at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium. While Airtel did not share specific plans, a top executive confirmed that the pre-5G solution is being commercially offered in the Mumbai market.

Amit Tripathi, chief executive officer – Mumbai, Bharti Airtel Ltd, said, “Airtel has pioneered the rollout of massive MIMO in India and we are now undertaking large-scale deployments of the cutting-edge technology in key business and residential hubs across Mumbai.” Commercial/ pricing details related to pre-5G deployment were not disclosed though.

Pre-5G refers to next-generation network technology between the fourth generation (4G) technology and 5G.Consumer preferences, according to Airtel, are changing very rapidly. While it was all about network coverage and voice quality till a few years ago, the quality of high-speed data connectivity from service providers is a top priority for consumers now.

“The introduction of pre-5G massive MIMO expands network capacities by five to seven times on the same spectrum. It also delivers super-fast data speeds despite a large number of concurrent users at the same location,” said Tripathi.

With affordable smartphones becoming the main play, Airtel is also making significant investments in strengthening its services in Mumbai and extended suburbs by way of massive network deployment. Accordingly, the company will add 7,000 new sites and 10 MegaHertz of TDD LTE spectrum in this fiscal. This exercise is expected to significantly boost network capacity for high-speed data and voice services.

“Last year we had rolled out 3,300 sites and this year we will more than double that number. That apart, 200 kilometres of optic fibre cable was laid down last year taking the total to 2,300 km by March 2018. This year, we will double that number as well, thus enhancing the consistency in speeds and connectivity. This apart, we have also extended optic fibre cable for broadband connectivity and offer speeds of 300 mbps for residential consumers,” said Tripathi.

The planned rollout will augment its current network in Mumbai by 30%, taking the total number of sites in the city to 27,000 from 20,000 earlier. The optical fibre footprint in the city is also set to get a boost with the addition of 400 km of fresh fibre cable, taking the total footprint to 2,700 km, thereby enabling superior high-speed data transmission.

“The roll-out would translate to the addition of one new mobile site to Airtel’s future-ready network in Mumbai every hour throughout the year,” said Tripathi.
THE NEW SPEED

    The introduction of pre-5G massive MIMO expands network capacities by five to seven times on the same spectrum 
    It also delivers super-fast data speeds despite a large number of concurrent users at the same location 
    Across the country, Airtel will double the number of sites added and optic fibre cable laid this year as compared to 2017

Last modified on Friday, 08 June 2018

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