Airtel unveils Project Next, plots VoLTE launch by year-end

11 Jul 2017

Bharti Airtel, India’s largest cellco by subscribers, has unveiled ‘Project Next’ under which it plans to invest INR20 billion (USD310 million) to improve customer experience, as it looks to retain its subscribers amidst its ongoing tariff war with newcomer Reliance Jio Infocomm (Jio), the Economic Times writes. The programme will see Airtel overhaul its retail outlets into ‘next-gen stores’, with CEO Gopal Vittal adding that the new stores have been conceptualised by the same UK-based company that designed Apple’s stores. Project Next also covers improvements to the operator’s customer care services and its suite of applications.

As part of the project, Airtel has announced that from 1 August post-paid customers would be able to carry forward unused data to the subsequent month. Explaining the move, the company said in a statement: ‘Airtel talked to thousands of customers in its innovation lab and identified that unused data that expires at the end of the month is seen as a painful waste.’

The cellco also confirmed that it had started testing voice-over-LTE (VoLTE) technology in five cities and plans to launch the service nationwide by the end of the year.