Bharti to invest Rs 1,200 crore in network infrastructure

By SiliconIndia   |   Wednesday, 21 May 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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MUMBAI: Bharti Tele-ventures will invest Rs 1,200 crore in mobile network infrastructure in the next eight months, out of which Rs 140 crore has been earmarked for Mumbai circle for implementation by October.

"The investments will be towards rollout and expansion of network in scaling up of capacity to cater to the growing subscribers of Airtel", Bharti president (mobility) Manoj Kohli told reporters on Tuesday.

He said the company is also planning to share its infrastructure with other service providers, thereby saving up to 25 per cent on infrastructural costs, apart from improving network quality in existing 16 circles.

The total investments in mobile business would be in excess of Rs 8,000 crore by 2003-04, he said, adding investments of Rs 1,200 crore is part of the international funding of $315 million received by Bharti recently.

Airtel chief operating officer (COO), Atul Jamb said Bharti is planning to launch a new two way pre-paid international roaming card very soon.

He said the investments would be used to increase the number of cell sites from 450 to 650 with an addition of 50 sites on a month-to-month basis.

Jamb, who is also the COO for Mumbai circle, said after the infusion of Rs 140 crore, the company would raise the customer base to the "full potential" with the maximum utilisati on of calls per hour.

He said the network capacity would be scaled up to cater to over 6.6 million subscribers and handle two billion call minutes per month. Besides it would install 1,500 new cell sites (towers), increasing the number of such sites to around 5,000 in the country.

He said Bharti is also planning to increase its total mobile switching centres (MSCs) to around 28, reaching out to more than 1,100 towns in India.

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