Airtel on Thursday announced that the telecom operator is planning to deploy a substantially-upgraded mobile technology in the city of Mumbai as part of its Project Leap initiative. As part of the project, Airtel will be deploying over 7,000 new mobile sites that will include the large-scale deployment of pre-5G Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology to help boost the current data and voice service standards for its users. An additional spectrum carrier is also in the pipeline to strengthen the telecom giant’s 4G presence in India’s financial capital.
The pre-5G Massive MIMO technology will be deployed across all major business hubs and residential complexes in Mumbai, Airtel said. This comes a few months after Airtel had deployed the same technology at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai, back in April 2018, for the IPL. For that matter, even Reliance Industries-owned Jio had deployed similar pre-5G Massive MIMO technology at cricket stadiums in Delhi and Mumbai.
Adding 7,000 mobile broadband sites will take the total tally to 27,000 and optic fibre footprint will reach a total of 2,700km. An additional spectrum carrier of 10MHz in the 2300MHz band has also been introduced in the city.
Amit Tripathi, Chief Executive Officer, Bharti Airtel – Mumbai, adds, “As part of our endeavour to build a future ready network to deliver best-in-class experience to our customers, we are stepping up investments considerably by adding 7,000 new sites and 10MHz of TDD LTE spectrum. 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. This will truly add to the smartphone experience for Airtel customers in the city.”
To recall, Airtel’s 4G services were launched in Mumbai in May 2015, carrier aggregation of 4G+ began in August 2016, while the telecom operator’s 4G VoLTE services were rolled out in September 2017.