Bharti Airtel to toll out 5G services this month

By March 2024, all major towns and rural areas in the nation would have access to 5G services thanks to telecom provider Bharti Airtel, said a top corporate executive.

Gopal Vittal, managing director and CEO of Bharti Airtel, also said that the current cheap cost of mobile services in India needs to increase. We plan to roll out 5G beginning in August and eventually throughout all of India. We anticipate being able to cover every town and important rural area with 5G by March 2024.

In fact, entire plans for the development of the network in 5,000 Indian towns are already in place. In our history, this will be one of our largest rollouts," Vittal stated on the earnings call for the company.

Bharti Airtel in the recently-concluded spectrum auction acquired 19,867.8 MHz frequencies by securing a pan-India footprint of 3.5 GHz and 26 GHz bands and select purchase of radiowaves in the low and mid-band spectrum for a total consideration of Rs 43,040 crore. Vittal downplayed the necessity of purchasing premium spectrum in the 700 megahertz band, which requires fewer mobile towers for coverage than other bands that telecom operators currently have, and stated the company's capital spending will stay around the current levels.

''Our competition doesn't have such a massive mid-band spectrum. Do remember that if we did not have this large chunk of the precious mid-band spectrum we would have had no choice but to buy an expensive 700 Mhz spectrum.
And once we had purchased it, we would have needed to put powerful radios on this band. According to Vittal, there would have been an increase in carbon emissions in addition to greater costs.

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