Airtel to start phasing out 2G, 3G for 4G, says Gopal Vittal

Bharti Airtel is transforming phone networks to drive its core 2G and 3G user base to rapidly go 4G in its bid to grab quality data customers by leveraging the surging demand for fourth-generation services in its fight against Reliance Jio Infocomm. Chief executive Gopal Vittal said Friday that Airtel is expediting steps to deploy its premium airwaves in the 900 Mhz band – currently being used only for 2G voice services – purely for 4G. We are seeing dramatic growth in 4G demand, and over a period of time, the 900 Mhz band will purely serve our 4G customers, while 2G services will be continue to be available on the 1800 Mhz band, Vittal said. The company, he said, would have a transition strategy in place in the run-up to deploying all its 900 MHz band spectrum for 4G services. Airtel’s chief executive also signalled the possible shutting down of 3G networks in the near future, saying the demise of 3G technology is rapidly drawing near since standalone 3G services is scarcely generating any meaningful revenue.

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