What is Airtel’s Open Network Initiative?

Did anyone know what a leading global telecommunications company does to make its customers happy? Well, a few of us surely do, especially when we have read about telecom operators like Airtel and their latest mechanisms of dealing with intense competition hurled by existing and upcoming telecom rivals. For them who are not aware, we have an analysis of Airtel’s ‘Open Network’ initiative, a recent upgrade in its customer centric strategy.

Project Leap

One of Airtel’s principal objectives includes delivery of world class network and this led to the design of ‘Project Leap’, a full-fledged network transformation program that would help the operator improve its voice and data services across the country. The company has estimated an investment of approximately INR 160,000 crores on this program in the coming years.

Open Network

Under ‘Project Leap’, Airtel has designed a transparent initiative which will help its customers stay fully informed about the network that they are using and send their valuable feedback which will assist the company further improve their coverage. Through Open Network, Airtel subscribers will now be able to view the operator’s current and planned towers along with the signals strength transmitted by these towers. In case the network received is less than optimum, the users can immediately report it to the service provider and in return get the performance reviewed and improved.

Interactive Interface for Open Network

The Open Network will be functional and accessible through an interactive online interface. Besides the network site development status, the interface will display Airtel’s mobile network coverage/signal strength across India.

Primary Features of the Interface

With a simple color coded interface, the ‘Open Network’ let’s its customers check if Airtel’s network in a particular area is non-existent, moderate, good or excellent. The interface works with geospatial tools and other technologies to report network coverage. It also gives a glance of the corresponding sites within the area and whether they are upgraded, existing, required or removed. Customers will also be in a position to report their network issues very easily in a systematic way. The interface will be accessible on www.airtel.in/opennetwork and the myAirtel app.

Views of the Company

Speaking about the initiative, the CEO and MD of Bharti Airtel (India and South Asia), Gopal Vittal stated that the ‘Open Network’ is a paradigm shift in the way the company engages its customers. The company, as per the statement, looks forward to establish transparency of mobile networks and keeping a direct relation with the customers with regards to feedback and consequent addressing of issues.

For us, the network experience is paramount and Airtel customers can now take charge of network issues and be a part of the solution, rather than waiting for it to happen”, added Vittal.

Additional Services

Airtel has given an additional option to its customers choosing which they can report their network related issues to an Airtel Call Centre or also to any of the Airtel Flagship stores across the country. These contact centers are specially furnished with solutions pertaining to the new interface.

Other Aspects of ‘Project Leap’

Besides ‘Open Network’, Airtel has also venturing into other solutions including Wi-Fi hotspots, Carrier aggregation, small cells, and other methods to enhance the network experience inside buildings. The telecom operator is also focusing on the installation of modern base stations with single radio access network for managing multiple spectrum bands. In the previous year, Airtel has invested more than INR 15,000 crores towards the deployment of over 88,000 sites across the country. The company has also adopted a 25% more stringent call drop benchmark of 1.5% than what is prescribed by the Telecom Regulatory Authority (TRAI) at 2%.

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