Investments in spectrum, capacities to improve coverage, user experience: Airtel CEO

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Mumbai, 29 April 2021: Airtel is focused on ensuring its services offer predictability to customers in “these tough times” and has made an investment of over Rs 18,000 crores to buy spectrum that will “dramatically” improve indoor coverage in coming months, its Chief Executive Officer Gopal Vittal has said.

In a note to subscribers amid the “tragic and devastating second wave of COVID-19”, Vittal said that the company has taken multiple steps to ensure that its coverage and user experience improves.

Vittal affirmed the company’s commitment to the safety and convenience of its customers, through contactless home delivery of SIMs and online payments, and also highlighted security-related measures amid a “massive increase in cyber frauds”.

“We know that our services can offer some predictability in these tough times,” Vittal wrote.

On the strengthening of networks, he said the company has made an investment of over Rs 18,000 crores to buy a “precious spectrum that will dramatically improve indoor coverage in the coming months”.

“We have also invested an additional Rs 20,000 crores to enhance our capacities so that your experience improves even as your consumption rises,” he informed.

It is pertinent to mention here that as per TRAI quarterly sector update, the volume of total wireless data usage rose almost 4.7 per cent on a sequential basis during the December quarter. The average wireless data usage per subscriber per month was at 12.13 GB, for the sector.

According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), the volume of total wireless data usage increased to 26,405 petabytes during the quarter ended December 2020.

Vittal, in his letter to customers, further said Airtel can now ensure contactless home delivery of SIMs, making the entire process safer and more convenient for customers.

“All our staff have been trained to adhere to the highest safety standards. In addition, you can easily make payments online from the safety of your home,” Vittal added.

Warning that there has been a “massive” surge in cyber frauds, Vittal observed, “as usual, fraudsters are always finding new ways to trick you”.

“This is why we have launched an industry-first feature of `Safe Pay’. This is simply the safest method of paying online in the country. It provides an additional layer of security for every transaction,” he said.

Before a user actually makes a payment, the network intelligence throws up a message asking them to confirm the transaction.

“In addition, with a maximum balance of Rs 2 lakh, Airtel Payments Bank is a perfect secondary account for all your transactions. And you can link a UPI app to your account,” Vittal explained. The top honcho at Airtel also invited user feedback on what the company can do better “in this very unfortunate time that India is passing through”.

India saw a record single-day rise of 3,60,960 coronavirus cases, which pushed the total tally to 1,79,97,267, while the death toll crossed two lakh following 3,293 fresh fatalities, according to Union health ministry data updated on Wednesday morning.