Airtel said to plan 4G ramp-up

Dylan Bushell-Embling
telecomasia.net
Indian mobile giant Bharti Airtel reportedly plans to beef up its LTE network in preparation for competition from pan-India 4G startup Reliance Jio Infocomm.
 
Airtel will deploy an additional 5,000 LTE towers in the circles where it has 4G licenses, DNA India reported, citing industry sources. The new towers will reportedly include some operated by tower JV Indus Towers.
 
Airtel has to date launched 4G services in six towns, but has so far not seen much traction among subscribers.
 
The company is also rumored to be considering rolling out 4G to more regions, including areas where it does not yet have a 3G network.
 
LTE network quality is expected to be a key battleground once Reliance Jio launches 4G services in the December quarter.
 
In preparation for launch, Reliance Jio has been lining up a series of infrastructure deals with companies including Reliance Communications (RCom), Bharti Infratel and Viom Networks.
 
The company has just announced its third network sharing deal with RCom, this time covering RCom's intra-city fiber network in 300 cities and towns.
 
The intra-city fiber spans nearly 500,000 fiber pair kilometres nationwide. The two companies revealed they are also in discussion over more opportunities for “mutual co-operation.”
 
Reliance Jio has already clinched deals to use RCom's inter-city fiber as well as its tower network

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