Telecom giant Airtel will roll out 4G services in North East, excluding Assam, within next 2-3 months, testing of which is currently going on. "We are at present testing the 4G signals in the North East. However, this exercise excludes Assam as we got the necessary 4G spectrum for the state only in latest auction and it will take some time to roll out the services," Bharti Airtel Chief Executive Officer (NESA) Saurabh Goel told PTI.
The company started the testing about two months back and is emphasising on this entire process so that customers do not face any issue once the facility is introduced, he added.
Goel declined to share the timeline, but said: "It will be introduced very soon in the six states. We have already put up hoardings in Shillong and other places in the region.
Industry sources, however, said Airtel is gearing up to roll out the 4G services commercially in North East within next two-three months.
The company's North Eastern States and Assam (NESA) operations, which clocked a revenue of Rs 2,000 crore in 2014-15, has a customer base of 90 lakh and enjoys 40 per cent market share in the region. "In the last fiscal, we grew by 14 per cent.
It was a little setback for us as the coal mining industry in Meghalaya was closed, affecting our growth. But this year, we are buoyant on Meghalaya along with Tripura. We are extremely focused on Arunachal Pradesh also," Goel said.
He, however, declined to share growth expectations or customer base target for the current fiscal. On growth areas, Goel said the company has "big plans" for the youth, who are entering colleges this year and will roll out special combo offers for voice and internet usage.
"The other two focus areas... North East are corporates and migrant workers, especially from Bihar and Uttar Pradesh as our brand is very strong there," he added.