Bharti Airtel’s chief executive officer for India, Gopal Vittal, has said that the company has invested Rs 38,000 crore in spectrum and network capacity to ensure its customers remain connected during this pandemic.
In a letter to the telco’s 307.9 million subscribers, Vittal detailed out how Airtel is carrying out home delivery of SIM cards and cautioned subscribers against falling prey to cyber frauds.
“We have made an investment of well over Rs 18,000 crore to buy precious spectrum that will dramatically improve indoor coverage in the coming months. We have also invested an additional Rs 20,000 crore to enhance our capacities so that your experience improves even as your consumption rises,” said Vittal in his letter on Wednesday.
This email from the second largest operator in India comes at a time when India recorded more than 360,000 Covid-19 cases on Tuesday.
Vittal said the telco’s investments are expected to keep the data available to customers as dependency on wireless communication surges in India. With offices declaring remote work culture in the wake of Covid-19 outbreak since last year, the telecom networks have witnessed a 33% surge in data consumption, pushing telcos to add to their network expansion and bring in more fibre to home networks.
This time around, demand for mobile data networks has risen 10-15% and that for fixed line broadband is up 50-60% in the last couple of months, ET reported.
Tower firms and other telcos have boosted their infrastructure as well. During the February 2020-April 2021 period, telecom companies and their infrastructure partners deployed 69,448 new mobile towers, according to industry body Tower and Infrastructure Providers Association (TAIPA).
Along with its rivals Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio ) and Vodafone Idea (Vi), the trio have invested Rs 9,000 crore in network infrastructure expansion during the year, after Covid-19 struck last year, according to industry data.
Vittal said Airtel can ensure home delivery of SIM cards and customers can make payments online. Telecom is part of essential services as many parts of the country are under a lockdown to reign in the pandemic surge.
He though cautioned them against the rapid increase in cyber frauds, as many across age groups adopt digital payments. “There has been a massive increase in cyber frauds. And as usual, fraudsters are always finding new ways to trick you,” he added.