India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Tuesday said it has deployed a 5G capable technology, which will offer faster data speeds to consumers and improve network capacity.
The deployment of ‘massive multiple-input multiple-output (Mimo) technology’, a key driver for futuristic 5G networks, will start from Bengaluru and Kolkata, the company said in a statement. The technology will also be rolled out to other parts of the country “soon”, it added.
Airtel said the new technology will bolster the current network capacity by 5-7 times, and result in 2-3 times faster data speeds for customers. “India joins a select group of countries globally to deploy massive Mimo, marking a major technological leap for the telecom sector in the country,” the Airtel release said.
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Customers will enjoy faster data speeds on their existing 4G mobile devices without having to upgrade or change their tariff plans, it added. “As one of the few commercial deployments of massive Mimo globally, the deployment puts India on the world map of technology advancement and digital revolution,” it said.
The announcement comes as part of Airtel’s Project Leap, an ongoing network transformation programme. “Data speeds will now also be seamless, offering enhanced user experience even indoors, in crowded places and high rise buildings.”
“It would enable multiple users and multiple devices to work simultaneously without facing any congestion,” the statement added. The move comes at a time when the government has formed a high-level forum to guide India to start 5G service by 2020, a technology that will deliver wireless broadband speed of about 10,000mbps in urban areas and 1,000mbps in rural belts.
In a bid to facilitate research and development activities for 5G service rollout, the government is also looking at setting up a Rs500-crore support fund.