Airtel to shut down 3G network by 2021; fibre business transferred to Telesonic

2 Nov 2017

Indian telecoms provider Bharti Airtel is planning to shut down its 3G network in next three to four years, with its spectrum in the 2100MHz band to be refarmed for 4G LTE use, Daily News and Analysis (DNA) India reports. Gopal Vittal, CEO of India and South Asia division at Bharti Airtel, said: ‘Some of the older radios are pure 3G which we need to replace. It will take time.’ The executive added that another issue is the deployment of VoLTE, though he highlighted that as soon as 3G networks are no longer required to carry the voice signals, the 2100MHz band will be reframed for 4G use.

In related news, Airtel has disclosed plans to transfer its fibre-optic business – comprising underground and overground cabling – to its wholly-owned subsidiary Telesonic Networks for a valuation of INR56.5 billion (USD873 million), the Business Standard writes. Bharti Airtel is transferring the cable business based on a cash consideration of INR45.6 billion, subject to upward adjustments up to the date the deal is signed.

India, Bharti Airtel