Bharti Airtel is preparing to give tough competition to Reliance Jio in 4G services
Airtel, is the only player to launch 4G services in India, is ramping up services to face impending competition from Reliance Jio, the 4G arm of Reliance Industries, which plans to launch services between September-December this year.
Airtel, which has 4G presence in six towns in India, and recently began offering 4G at 3G prices on handsets, has so far not been able to create waves in the market.
Airtel plans to deploy 5,000 additional towers — including those of Indus Towers and Viom Network along with its own — in its 4G circles, to improve network and ensure consistent speeds. According to sources, Airtel will also start launching 4G in circles where it doesn’t have 3G — a strategy other 4G players may adopt as both 3G and 4G can be now offered on the same 1800 MHz spectrum band.
However, an Airtel spokesperson denied these reports saying, “Airtel can offer 4G services in those circles for which it has a licence”.
RJio, has almost finalised its launch strategy – with 80,000 towers in the first phase in 800 towns from Reliance Infratel, Bharti Infratel, Viom – and a not-yet-closed 25,000 tower deal with Indus towers. In phase two, RJio will raise its tower footprint to 125,000 -150,000 towers for pan-India presence in two years. RJio is building a lot of partnerships with several players, besides plans to launch its own app store, and a huge focus on video,” said an industry source.