Airtel Users Will Soon Get 500 Mbps Internet Speed Via Hidden, Untapped 4G Spectrum
Ericsson and Airtel have partnered to deploy and test Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology
Airtel has clearly understood one crucial fact: In order to fight Jio, and to remain relevant in India’s telecom market, one needs speed. And this is good news for all because very soon, Airtel users will be able to surf the Internet at blazing fast speed of 500 Mbps.
Meanwhile Vodafone-Idea is preparing a massive warchest of $3.5 billion to fight Jio in India. Will this work?
Airtel Tests 4G Internet at 500 Mbps
Sweden’s telecom behemoth Erricson and Airtel have partnered to kickstart their preparedness for 5G services in India.
As a first step, they conducted some highly advanced and sophisticated 4G test speed tests, wherein they have achieved 500 Mbps speed.
Airtel has described this as India’s first trial of Licensed Assisted Access (LAA) technology, conducted over a live 4G network.
In a statement, Randeep Sekhon, chief technology officer of Bharti Airtel said, “LAA is an important technology evolution that can truly unlock the power of 4G LTE networks by leveraging unutilized unlicensed spectrum,”
How Is This Possible?
Using LAA technology, Airtel and Ericsson are attempting to untap hidden spectrum potential, and achieve Gigabit LTE speed using the same spectrum. These hidden, untapped spectrum are actually unlicensed, and nobody knew its existence before.
Such high speed, that is 500 Mbps and more, was earlier thought to be achievable only via fixed line optical fiber.
The tests were conducted at an indoor location in Delhi-NCR and Airtel used only one LTE 5 MHz carrier aggregated with three 20 MHz carriers of unlicensed spectrum. Ericsson’s Radio System was used along with 4CC carrier aggregation, 4×4 MIMO and 256 QAM technologies to achieve this mind-blowing result.
Airtel hasn’t revealed when this technology will be commercially available for all users.
Vodafone-Idea To Raise $3.5 Billion Warchest
Meanwhile India’s #1 telecom company (as per subscribers), Vodafone-Idea has announced they will raise an additional $1 billion in funding to keep their momentum going in the Indian market. This is in addition to $2.5 billion in funding which they have already announced, which will be raised via Rights Issue.
This new funding of $1 billion shall be conducted via Private Equity and Pension Funds.
An unnamed person from Vodafone-Idea shared how this funding will work: “Vodafone group plans raise the entire $1.5 billion (the UK company’s share in the capital infusion) by pledging its stake in Indus Towers Ltd, which is in the midst of a merger with Bharti Infratel Ltd,”
While Vodafone-Idea’s overall debt stands at Rs 1.2 trillion, Airtel has a debt of Rs 1.5 trillion as of now.
We will keep you updated, as more details come in.