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Airtel introduces ultra-fast 4G services in Andaman and Nicobar circle

India Today Tech     August 11, 2020

Airtel launched its ultra-fast 4G services in Andaman and Nicobar circle after the inauguration of submarine optical fiber cable link between Chennai and Andaman and Nicobar Islands (CANI) on Monday.

Airtel said that it was the first private telecom company to provide mobile services in Andaman and Nicobar Islands and had started the services back in 2005.

Airtel has become the first private telco to roll out high-speed 4G services in the islands.

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Airtel said, "The new fiber link marks a major milestone in India's digital transformation journey as this critical infrastructure reaches the strategic archipelago. The fiber link will be a game-changer for the region and unlock the true potential of 4G and even 5G in the future for customers. Airtel remains fully committed to the Government's vision of Digital India. We hope the Department of Telecom will accelerate the deployment of USOF for building such infrastructure backbone to complement the efforts of telecom operators to bridge the digital divide."

"From Chennai to Port Blair, Port Blair to Little Andaman and Port Blair to Swaraj Dweep, this service has started in large part of Andaman Nicobar from today," PM Modi said after launching India's first undersea optical fiber cable project, CANI.

All telecom operators in the country will be able to provide their mobile and broadband services using the CANI optical fiber link.

Government-owned telco Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited(BSNL) also enhanced its existing plans with improved speeds in the islands.

In related news, Airtel is also looking at expanding its broadband plans through the Local Cable Operator (LCO) model in India. In the LCO model, Airtel said that it will manage billing, plan, customer relationships with the last mile fiber managed by the local cable operator for which he gets a revenue share.

Airtel has already gone into 12-13 towns with the LCO model and has seen a good response. Airtel is looking at expanding the LCO model in the next 6-12 months.

"We give them a revenue share for basically laying the last-mile fiber, maintaining it, and everything else that is done on it, whether it is the router, it is the billing system, it is the plan, it is the customer relationship, all of it is managed by Airtel. The last mile fiber is managed by the local cable operator, for which he gets the revenue share," Gopal Vittal, Airtel's Managing director had said.

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