India’s largest operator Bharti Airtel will invest INR600 billion ($9.04 billion) as part of its Project Leap, aiming to provide mobile broadband access to 500,000 villages and fixed network high speed access to 250,000 small towns over the next three years. Airtel also will upgrade its fixed network connections, using vectoring technology to boost Internet access speeds to 50 Mbps on all-copper plant.
Airtel, with 23.5 percent mobile market share and 234 million mobile connections, aims to nearly double the number of base stations, adding 160,000 sites over that period, in addition to 70,000 base stations added to March 2016.
Airtel also 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.
By March 2016, about 60 percent of Airtel’s india network will be capable of supporting “mobile broadband” services.
Airtel also will be investing in additional domestic and international optical fiber, and upgrade more than three million copper fixed network connections with channel bonding technologies that will boost bandwidth to 50 Mbps.
In addition Airtel plans to deploy fiber to the home and offer upto 100 Mbps speeds, at some locations.