Amid criticism of mobile operators for call drops, Bharti Airtel launched a special micro-website that will show progress of its site expansion project and live status of its network coverage.
Airtel in November announced a 'Project Leap' aimed at perceptibly improving network quality with an outlay of Rs 60,000 crore in the next three years. The announcement came after the government and the regulator Trai asked telecom operators to increase investment in infrastructure to check the call drop menace.
"Our new website is targeted at a first of its kind effort in sharing with total transparency the progress we are making in every street and locality in the country. Our customers will be able to see the progress of their network in their respective localities," Bharti Airtel MD and CEO Gopal Vittal said in a statement.
The micro website, named leap and linked to Airtel's main website, will enable customers to see the network coverage for voice, basic data services (2G) and high speed data services (3G/ 4G) in their regions. They will also be able to see sites planned in their localities, seek help on hosting sites and share the site upgradation plan for every site.
Customers will also be able to see sites that have been forcibly shut down in their localities, the statement said. Under the project leap, Airtel plans to deploy over 70,000 mobile sites in current financial year and turning its over 60 per cent of network capable of delivering high speed mobile internet services.
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"In the next three months, Airtel will be adding nearly 23,000 high speed data sites enhancing the overall network experience for customers," the statement said. Over period of three years, Airtel said that it will deploy over 160,000 base stations, effectively doubling its present network.
The company is also deploying more than 550,000 kilometers of domestic and international fiber under the project. On completion of Project Leap, Airtel expects offer 50 Mbps broadband speeds, compared to 16 Mbps offered at present by 2016. In addition Airtel has plans to deploy Fiber to the home and offer upto 100 Mbps speeds.