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Bharti Aims for Femto Gain

Jatinder Singh
8/25/2011

11:00 PM -- India's leading operator, Bharti Airtel Ltd. (Mumbai: BHARTIARTL), is to strengthen its 3G in-building access by rolling out femtocells in top metro cities, the operator's Network Services group director has told Light Reading India.

Femtocells, the tiny base stations that a number of operators have adopted worldwide to boost their data services coverage, "are not a proven product, and we are deploying them as and when they are available. ... We are going to have a good femto rollout for sure. But it will take time, and we would be initially focusing on top cities," says Jagbir Singh in an exclusive interview. (See Jagbir Singh: Director, Network Services Group, Bharti Airtel.)

Bharti, which has already started femto trials in Bangalore, is not the only operator in India using femtos to boost in-building coverage, as Idea Cellular Ltd. is also trialing the mini base stations, while most of the country's 3G service providers plan to use femtocells as part of their rollout strategies at some point. (See Femtos Gain Traction in India and Anil Tandan: CTO, Idea Cellular)

Cost will be a major issue for those operators deploying femtos, though, as Indian consumer will not be prepared to bear the cost of the access devices.

— Jatinder Singh, Principal Correspondent, Light Reading India

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