Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”), India’s largest telecommunications services provider, has rolled out a new initiative – Open Network – under Project Leap, its national network transformation initiative.
India’s First Open Network
Airtel has opened up its entire mobile network information to its customers through an interactive online interface. The new interface will display Airtel’s mobile network coverage/signal strength across India in addition to network site deployment status.
Using a simple colour scheme, the interface will allow customers to check if the Airtel mobile network in an area is excellent, good, moderate or non-existent, along with the status of corresponding sites serving the area – existing, required, being upgraded or forcibly shut down. The interface uses geospatial tools and other technologies for accurate reporting of network coverage.
The new interface, which will be available on www.airtel.in/opennetwork and myAirtel app starting tomorrow, will also allow customers to report their network related issues in an easy fashion.
In addition, customers can also contact the Airtel Call Centre or walk into any of the Airtel Flagship Stores across the country to report their network related issues. All Airtel Call Centres and Flagship Stores have been specially equipped with solutions based on the new interface to respond to network related issues.
Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel said “Open Network is a paradigm shift in the way we engage with our customers. With this initiative, we are establishing complete transparency with regards to our mobile network and opening ourselves to customer scrutiny and feedback. For us, the network experience is paramount and Airtel customers can now take charge of network issues and be a part of the solution, rather than waiting for it to happen. Today, getting permissions to put up a network site is perhaps the biggest challenge in delivering a seamless experience to customers. We hope customers will actively come forward and help us make our network better.”
“Airtel is fully committed to investing whatever it takes to deliver a world-class experience to its customers. I also want to thank the Hon’ble Telecom Minister for his proactive approach towards addressing the misplaced concerns around mobile radiation and supporting the industry’s requirement for site locations.” added Gopal Vittal
Other initiatives under Project Leap
Airtel is also deploying a range of innovative technology solutions including small cells, indoor solutions, wi-fi hotspots and carrier aggregation technologies to improve network experience inside buildings. Over the next three years, the Company plans to deploy over 1, 00,000 such solutions.
Airtel is swapping its legacy networks and base stations with smaller, more compact and efficient technologies that will significantly improve customer experience. All these modern base stations will use a single radio access network to manage multiple spectrum bands.
The company is creating more network capacity through acquisition of additional spectrum and deployment of fiber. Airtel plans to cumulatively deploy more than 550,000 Kms of domestic & international fiber in order to drive down latency, improve customer experience and serve the growing demand of data services for years to come.
During Financial Year ended March 2016, Airtel invested over INR 15,000 crores across India towards deployment of over 88,000 sites. This is the largest network deployment anywhere in the world outside of China.
Recently, in an industry first, Airtel announced a 25% more stringent voluntary benchmark of 1.5% for mobile call drops versus the current TRAI prescribed norm of 2% under the Quality of Service regulations.
Based on the calculation of the call drop rate during network busy hour on a monthly average, any amount calculated for exceeding the 1.5% voluntary benchmark, subject to a maximum of INR 100 crores per annum, will be contributed by Airtel towards the education of underprivileged children in rural areas.
In November 2015, Airtel commenced the implementation of its network transformation program – Project Leap. With a national investment of INR 60,000 Crores over the next three years, Airtel’s “Project Leap” is a strategic company initiative aimed at perceptibly improving its network quality and delivering the best customer experience.
New campaign around Open Network
Starting tomorrow, the Company is rolling out a 360 degree advertising campaign around the Open Network initiative. The path-breaking campaign from Taproot-Dentsu takes a bold approach to communicating the initiative with a media-mix of TV, Print, Outdoor and Digital.