HOME > BUSINESS > Bharti Airtel to start refarming 2G spectrum for 4G this year

Bharti Airtel to start refarming 2G spectrum for 4G this year

India’s largest telecom services company by revenue and spectrum holding, Bharti Airtel, will start diverting its 2G spectrum to add to its 4G network in the second half of the ongoing financial year, the company’s CEO said.

The move will help increase 4G capacity of the operator by adding a carrier (5 MHz block) of spectrum to the 4G network.

2G services are run on 900 MHz and 1800 MHz spectrum. Out of this, 1800 MHz can be readily deployed for 4G services, but 900 MHz will take another couple of years to be ready for 4G services as most handsets do not support the band.

Bharti Airtel has 1800 MHz spectrum in nearly all the 22 telecom circles and 900 MHz in 15 circles.

At present, Bharti Airtel is operating 2G services using only 1800 MHz spectrum in eight circles, while in the remaining 14 circles, it is using 900 MHz or a combination of both.

It is estimated that around 50% of the total users on Bharti Airtel’s network are using 2G-only devices.

However, the percentage of 2G-only phones on the network would be lower in urban areas — where customers are more economically well-off, compared to rural areas.

As such, Bharti said it will begin the refarming of 1800 MHz from urban centers first — confining it to certain areas and cities.

“In one or two cities, towards the back half of this year, we may look refarming some of the spectrum to 4G,” Gopal Vittal, CEO of Bharti Airtel, said.

He said refarming will gather pace in the next financial year, which starts in April 2018.

“As we look at FY18-19, we are certainly going to refarm a bunch of spectrum in quite a few cities,” he said.

It is likely that Vittal was talking about Mumbai and Delhi as the first two cities where the refarming will take place.

“An important metric that we look at is what is the amount of voice traffic being carried by 2G devices on the 2G network,” said Vittal.

“If that number..falls beyond a threshold that we’ve identified, then we will immediately look at refarming. My estimate is that that number will be breached towards the back half of the year.”

The company has been quite aggressive in re-allocating spectrum from older technologies — which generate less revenue — to more lucrative newer technologies.

Last year, it said it was shifting 2G users in circles like Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh from its 900 MHz spectrum to divert part of it to 3G services.

The company is engaged in a 4G price war with new telecom operator Reliance Jio, and needs all the extra data capacity it can get to remain profitable. It said its data prices fell 32% in the three months from January to March this year due to competition with Jio.

Follow ULTRA.news
Reliance Jio tops in user satisfaction, but call drop concerns remain Percentage of customers giving 4 or 5 starsReliance Jio users are a happier lot than customers of other services, but call drops and network availability remain key concerns, according to a survey conducted by a market research firm Velocity MR.The firm conducted a study...
Vodafone India offers unlimited downloading for 5 hours at Rs 29 Taking a leaf from new entrant Reliance Jio's playbook, Vodafone India has announced a 'truly unlimited' five-hour data pack for Rs 29.The pack, called Vodafone SuperNight, will work between 1 AM and 6 AM and is open for prepaid customers only. It will work on both 3G and 4G...
RIL stock up as Reliance Jio proves doubters wrong, avoids an April dip in subscribers Shares of Reliance Industries rose 3.5% today -- an extraordinary move for such a large company -- after it emerged that not only did the company not lose subscribers when it made the transition from free to paid services in April, it actually added a few million.The result ...
India tablet sales fall 16%, but 4G picks up in Jan-Mar 2017 The tablet market in India continues to shrink as phones become larger and larger, numbers from CyberMedia Research showed, but more and more people are opting for connected tablets with 3G and 4G options built-in.The total number of tablet PCs sold in India fell 16% in the ...
Reliance Jio launches extra data offer on some LYF handsets Reliance Jio, the 4G operator is now offering 20% extra data to those who are using its services using a LYF branded handset.Jio offers 20% extra data on certain LYF modelsIn other words, if you are eligible to get 1 GB of data per day, you will get 1.2 GB per day on a L...
Bharti Airtel gets SEBI and stock exchange nod for Telenor acquisition Bharti Airtel said it received the approval of the Securities and Exchange Board of India, BSE and National Stock Exchange of India for its proposed merger with Telenor India. Bharti Airtel further stated that Telenor India and Airtel have today filed the joint company appli...
RCom says looking to refinance various payments till September Anil Ambani Group's Reliance Communications said it was in talks with its lenders and partners to put off some of the instalment payments that the company had to pay until the completion of its merger with Sistema Shyam Teleservices and Aircel Cellular by September this year....
New technology makes telecom cheaper, but hurts tower companies A technology that has been around for almost a decade is now getting deployed on a large scale by Indian telecom operators to deploy 2G, 3G and 4G networks using the same base station.A Nokia illustration on old vs new situationThis could hit the revenue and growth prosp...
Bharti Airtel to offer cheap 4G plans for all dongle users – report With new operator Reliance Jio snapping at its heels, incumbent Bharti Airtel has decided to slash its data prices for everyone with the introduction of new 4G dongle plans, Telecom Talk blog reported quoting unnamed sources.At present, Bharti Airtel does not offer any plan t...
Bharti Airtel slashes home broadband tariff ahead of Jio Fiber launch Ahead of the launch of Jio Fiber by Reliance, Bharti Airtel slashed its home broadband prices with a new set of cheaper plans.The new plans now offer up to 100% more high speed data benefits within the same monthly rentals, the company said. Existing customers will b...
Bharti Airtel could help Reliance Jio win Rs 2,000 cr from DoT Bharti Airtel's attempts to avoid paying "voice conversion charge" on the spectrum that it is purchasing from internet service provider Tikona Digital could end up unintentionally benefiting arch rival Reliance Jio.Reliance Jio was forced to pay around Rs 1,650 cr four ye...
Airtel, Idea and Vodafone close to network sharing deal Fierce competition from new entrant Reliance Jio is pushing the incumbent telecom operators Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone India to accelerate negotiations to allow them to use each other's full networks.As of now, these operators only share 'passive' or 'dead' in...
Reliance Jio puts more 4G spectrum to use to increase speeds Reliance Jio, the 4G operator that has taken the market by storm, has deployed the extra spectrum that it bought last year, increasing the total spectrum in use in most markets by 20-25%.In most circles, Jio is operating with about 40-50 MHz of spectrum, and with the new sp...
4,196 villages lose Idea Cellular 2G signal as 876 towers taken offline Idea's tower growth, by technologyIdea Cellular, India's third largest telecom operator by revenue, reported a shrinkage in the area and population covered by its 2G network.The number of villages covered by Idea's 2G signals decreased by 4,196 to 3.89 lakh by March end ...
Idea Cellular to spend Rs 6,000 cr on VoLTE, expansion of 4G & 3G this year Idea Cellular, the telecom company controlled by the Aditya Birla group, said it will spend Rs 6,000 cr to expand its 3G and 4G services in the current financial year.Idea tower additions per yearThe planned investment of Rs 6,000 cr has been "earmarked for expanding bro...
Airtel Broadband to upgrade users to 40 Mbps V Fiber plans to beat Reliance Jio Locations of Airtel V Fiber servicesAirtel Broadband, India's second largest wired broadband service, will upgrade nearly all its DSL customers to its new 'V Fiber' vectorization technology that offers speeds of 40 Mbps, compared to 4-8 Mbps under the traditional ADSL 2 tech...
Bharti Airtel is successfully adopting the Reliance Jio model It is not every day that a new entrant forces the established players in the market to overhaul their business models. But Reliance Jio seems to be doing just that, and rivals like Bharti Airtel are proving to be quick, if slightly unwilling, learners.In the three months from...
Govt yet to decide on 700 MHz spectrum for BSNL Relative cell sizes | source:DoJ, US GovGovernment of India is yet to say 'no' to a request by Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd for the allocation of one block of spectrum in the precious 700 MHz band to enable it to launch 4G services in rural areas.The company had sought one b...
BSNL increases 3G data allocation for most prepaid recharges BSNL's new 3G plansReacting to falling usage of data on its network, Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd has increased the data available on its recharges, and introduced a daily data scheme priced at Rs 3099 for 90 days.The operator had, on Apr 1, doubled the data available on mo...
Reliance Jio’s Fiber preview to start in Mumbai, Rs 4,500 security deposit – Report You Broadband plans in MumbaiMumbai will be the first city to get preview services of Reliance Jio's Fiber services, which will come with a monthly cap of 100 GB of high-speed data, India Today reported, adding that users will have to pay Rs 4,500 as a refundable security de...
Reliance Jio to start trial services for fiber soon across India Reliance Jio, the biggest carrier of wireless data in the world, said it will expand beta trials of its fiber-to-the-home services in the 'next few months' across India.It has already started these trials in "a few locations", which would be expanded city by city. According t...
Why Reliance Jio will keep data prices low for 2 years: Credit Suisse explains Wireless data prices in India, which crashed from Rs 250 per GB to about Rs 10 per GB after the entry of Reliance Jio, will continue to remain under pressure for at least two more years, said analyst firm Credit Suisse.That is the minimum amount of time that the new entrant w...
Net Neutrality: Vodafone wants right to manipulate Internet videos Telcos want to be able to reduce video qualityVodafone India said it would like to be given the power to manage the size of videos watched by users on its mobile network and lower it automatically "for overall quality welfare".Participating in the discussions related to ...
Telcos Change Tack as Net Neutrality Fight Enters Final Round in India A campaign by Internet Freedom FoundationIf you thought the fight over net neutrality was over with the sending of 1 mln emails to the TRAI two years ago, think again.The telecom service providers, who lost out that in the first round, are back. This time, however, their...
Amazon Fire TV Stick Launch: Airtel offers 100 GB data free Bharti Airtel said it would provide 100 GB of free high-speed data to anyone who purchases Amazon’s Fire TV Stick in India.The offer is available to Airtel customers on broadband as well as '4G Home Wifi', but not to normal, handset-based 4G users.The data quota can b...