Annual Report

A Bold Leap

70,000 Base stations deployed in FY 2015-16

Project Leap

A leap by its very nature does not follow a linear pattern. For us at Bharti Airtel, every leap is an ambitious, orbit-shifting trajectory to chart a new course, set a higher benchmark and take a historic step forward.

In FY 2015-16, we announced a ` 600,000 Mn investment on a comprehensive network transformation programme Ė ĎProject Leapí. It will help us build a smart and dynamic communication architecture to improve customer experience through high quality voice and data experience across India.

This investment of ` 600,000 Mn is over and above the ` 1,600,000 Mn, we have already invested in our active and passive networks, spectrum, fibre, submarine cables and systems till date. This investment is one of the largest by a private sector company in India till date.

Project Leap will enable us to take a decisive lead in delivering a differentiated customer experience.

Largest Deployment of Network Infrastructure: We deployed over 70,000 base stations in FY 2015-16, making it the largest deployment in the history of India in a single year. Today, over 60% of Airtelís network is mobile broadband enabled. In three years, we will deploy over 160,000 base stations, effectively doubling our presence from what it has today on the ground.

Broadband for All: We have expanded our mobile broadband coverage to all towns and over 250,000 villages by March 2016. In three years, Airtel plans to offer mobile broadband to over 500,000 villages in the country. We will also modernise our 3 Mn plus strong home broadband network by upgrading our copper assets through new-age Vectoring Technology. This technology will enable us to offer 50 Mbps speeds from its current 16 Mbps by 2016-17. In addition, we plan to deploy fibre network to homes, offering up to 100 Mbps speeds.

World-class Indoor Experience in Every City: We will deploy a range of solutions including small cells, carrier aggregation solutions, Wi-Fi and the use of multiple technologies across different spectrum bands. This will enable us to provide a state-of-theart coverage on both voice and data services inside buildings across cities. Over a period of three years, Airtel plans to deploy over 100,000 solutions through a combination of Wi-Fi hotspots, small cells and indoor solutions.

Strong Backend: We will cumulatively deploy more than 550,000 kms of domestic and international fibre in order to drive down latency, improve customer experience and serve the growing demand of data services for years to come.

Massive Modernisation of Existing Networks: We will swap our legacy networks and base stations over a three-year period and replace them with smaller, more compact and efficient technologies that will significantly improve customer experience. These modern base stations will use a single radio access network to manage multiple spectrum bands.

Strategy for Small Businesses: We will use our extensive domestic infrastructure to deploy a range of solutions comprising fibre optics and Internet Wireless Access Network (IWAN). As a part of this programme, we plan to provide seamless connectivity to millions of small and medium enterprises in India.

World-class Service Operations Centre: We will invest in a broad range of tools that includes Self Optimising Networks (SON) for automatic network optimisation, geo spatial network tools for targeted network planning, capacity enhancements, Customer Experience Management (CEM) as well as software defined networks that will dramatically improve customer experience.

Significant Reduction in Carbon Footprint: Airtel will make substantial investments in green technologies over the next three years. We will deploy modern and less power consuming radio technologies that include compact base stations and small cells. We will also leverage multiple band antennas and deploy new battery technologies that will significantly lower energy consumption and reduce diesel dependency. As a result, Airtel will reduce its carbon footprint by up to 70% on a per unit basis in the next three years.

During FY 2015-16, 40,000+ Airtel telecom towers operate on a battery- hybrid, Li-ion and solar-hybrid technologies. Airtel's new telecom tower design and architecture functions without diesel generators. We aim to increase the use of renewable energy wheeling on core sites to enhance the green energy consumption.

In the next three years

Villages in the country will be offered mobile broadband
Base station deployments
Solutions will be offered through a combination of Wi-Fi hotspots, small cells and indoor solutions
Solutions will be offered through a combination of Wi-Fi hotspots, small cells and indoor solutions

Truly Transparent

Airtel has been the first to launch the Open Network initiative to empower customers and make them part of the journey. Through this initiative entire network information including coverage, site details and signal strength is being made available to customers. Any customer can find out detailed information about the quality of signals in his / her area and which sites he / she is being served from. Customers can also lodge a complaint for poor service. This portal also enables customers to help us erect a tower in the vicinity of his / her location.