Call drop is a perennial problem in India , so much so that the Prime Minister has himself expressed concern regarding the problem. In this regard the recent move of Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecom operator to make its entire network coverage information public, is a step in the right direction. With the launch of the Open Network initiative, Airtel’s subscribers would be able to see coverage/signal strength in any location across the country. The network would be categorised as excellent, good, moderate or non-existent.
With this the company has effectively placed quality of services at the centre of customer’s expectations. The growth of data means that the network quality is of utmost importance. No longer are the subscribers ready to accept shoddy network. The young and dynamic demand ubiquitous and seamless coverage and are ready to pay a premium for it.
The launch of this initiative shows Airtel’s confidence in its service and network. This is of course backed by other initiatives under $9 billion Project Leap, which was launched in November 2015. As per this program Airtel would be taking various measures to upgrade and expand its network infrastructure, so it is ready to face the data challenges. The Company is deploying state-of-the-art technology solutions for better indoor coverage and network optimization; overhauling legacy networks with new equipment and making investments in additional spectrum and fiber.
“Open Network is a paradigm shift in the way we engage with our customers. With this initiative, we are establishing complete transparency with regards to our mobile network and opening ourselves to customer scrutiny and feedback. 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. Today, getting permissions to put up a network site is perhaps the biggest challenge in delivering a seamless experience to customers. We hope customers will actively come forward and help us make our network better,” says Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO (India and South Asia), Bharti Airtel.
This is likely to put pressure on other service providers in the country to be transparent about their network coverage and will discourage telecom service providers from making tall claims without actually doing anything on the ground. Transparency breeds trust and this move will definitely help Bharti Airtel reap rich benefit in the long run.