Bharti Airtel said it will add 13,000 new mobile sites and introduce a key element of 5G technology in Karnataka in the next six months as part of its network upgrade.
It also plans to add 4,500 km of optic fiber within the state in the same time period.
As part of the upgrade, it will deploy Massive MIMO technology in the state, which uses a large number of radio antennas to increase the data carrying capacity of 4G networks.
Massive MIMO expands network capacities by 5-7 times on the same spectrum, Airtel said. The company has announced similar expansions in other circles earlier.“Airtel had recently deployed the solution at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bengaluru during the IPL 2018 matches and received very good feedback from customers,” it said.
It said its 4G network already covers 98% of the state’s population.
Karnataka is Airtel’s oldest 4G circle. The company deployed its 4G network in Bangalore around six years ago.
The companys has nearly 3 crore customers in the state and a coverage of 39,000 towns and village.
Explaining the Technicalities
Airtel said in a statement: “Massive MIMO creates 3D beams both on horizontal and vertical planes towards users located within its coverage footprint. This helps in improving coverage and reducing interference across users in different beams, thereby improving signal quality (SINR) by 2-3dB. Serving multiple users by re-using same set of resource blocks (MU-MIMO) with improved signal quality helps in improving user experience, cell capacity and spectrum efficiency,”
Technically, Airtel has described this as “Pre-5G technology”, which will help Airtel users to access better coverage inside buildings and underground locations.
Govt. Of India Determined For Compete 5G Rollout
Meanwhile Govt. of India has said that want the entire nation to be equipped and powered with 5G network, by 2020.
A high level committee of Ministers from telecom, information and technology have been formed, which will oversee the deployment of 5G, in the next 3 years, pan-India.
Minister of State for Communications Manoj Sinha said, “We missed the opportunity to participate when the standards were being set for 3G and 4G, but don’t want to miss the 5G opportunity. Now when the standards are being set for 5G across the world, India will also participate in the process,”
As per the initial plan, every urban location in the country would be provided with 10 Gbps broadband speed, and rural locations would be covered under 1 Gbps speed.
TRAI has already released consultation paper to seek feedback related with 3300-3400 Mhz and 3400-3600 Mhz bands which would be used for 5G network.
Explaining the requirement for 5G, the Minister said, “As per the OECD Committee on Digital Economic Policy, it has been stated that 5G technologies rollout will help in increasing GDP, creating employment, and digitizing the economy,”
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