Open Access Articles- Top Results for Airtel India

airtel India

This article is about the mobile network operator in India. For Bharti Enterprises telecommunication brand, see Bharti Airtel.
Industry Telecommunications
Founded 7 July 1995[1]
Founder Sunil Bharti Mittal
Headquarters Bharti Crescent, 1, Nelson Mandela Road, New Delhi, India[1]
Area served
Key people
Sunil Bharti Mittal
(Chairman and MD)
Products Fixed line and mobile telephony, broadband and fixed-line internet services, digital television and IPTV
Members 21.828 crore [2] (2014)
Parent Bharti Airtel

Airtel is the largest provider of mobile telephony and second largest provider of fixed telephony in India, and is also a provider of broadband and subscription television services. It offers its telecom services under the "airtel" brand, and is headed by Sunil Bharti Mittal. Bharti Airtel is the first Indian telecom service provider to achieve Cisco Gold Certification.[3] It also acts as a carrier for national and international long distance communication services. The company has a submarine cable landing station at Chennai, which connects the submarine cable connecting Chennai and Singapore.

Bharti Airtel added 5.10 lakh subscribers to take its base to 20.97 crore at the end of July,2014. Its market share in India is highest with a value of 28.41%.

Mobile services

Airtel operates in all telecom circles of India. Airtel is the largest operator in rural India, with 83.82 million subscribers as of April 2013.[4]

Airtel was the 6th most valued brand according to an annual survey conducted by Brand Finance and The Economic Times in 2010.[5][6]


On 18 May 2010, the 3G spectrum auction was completed and Airtel paid the Indian government 122.95 billion (US$Lua error in Module:Math at line 495: attempt to index field 'ParserFunctions' (a nil value). billion) for spectrum in 13 circles, the most amount spent by an operator in that auction. Airtel won 3G licences in 13 telecom circles of India: Delhi, Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (West), Rajasthan, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, North East, and Jammu & Kashmir.[7] Airtel also operates 3G services in Maharastra & Goa and Kolkata circles through an agreement with Vodafone and in Gujarat through an agreement with Idea. This gives Airtel a 3G presence in 15 out of 22 circles in India. Airtel is fined by DoT 3.50 billion for not stopping offering 3G Services through Roaming Pacts outside its Licensed Zones in Seven Circles.

On 20 September 2010, Bharti Airtel said that it had given contracts to Ericsson India, Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) and Huawei Technologies to set up infrastructure for providing 3G services in the country. These vendors would plan, design, deploy and maintain 3G–HSPA (third-generation, high-speed packet access) networks in 13 telecom circles where the company had won 3G licences. While Airtel awarded network contracts for seven 3G circles to Ericsson India, NSN would manage networks in three circles. Chinese telecom equipment vendor Huawei Technologies was introduced as the third partner for three circles.[8]

Airtel launched 3G services in Bangalore on 24 January 2011.[9] On 27 January 2011, Airtel launched 3G in Chennai and Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu. On 27 July 2011, 3G services were launched in Kerala's 3 largest cities – Kochi, Kozhikode and Thiruvananthapuram.[10]

Airtel 3G services are available in 200 cities through its network and in 500 cities through intra-circle roaming arrangements with other operators. Airtel had about 5.4 million 3G customers of which 4 million are 3G data customers as of September 2012.[11]


On 19 May 2010, the broadband wireless access (BWA) or 4G spectrum auction in India ended. Airtel paid 33.1436 billion (US$Lua error in Module:Math at line 495: attempt to index field 'ParserFunctions' (a nil value). million) for spectrum in 4 circles: Maharashtra and Goa, Karnataka, Punjab and Kolkata.[12] The company was allocated 20 MHz of BWA spectrum in 2.3 GHz frequency band. Airtel's TD-LTE network is built and operated by ZTE in Kolkata and Punjab, Huawei in Karnataka, and Nokia Siemens Networks in Maharashtra and Goa.[13] On 10 April 2012, Airtel launched 4G services through dongles and modems using TD-LTE technology in Kolkata, becoming the first company in India to offer 4G services. The Kolkata launch was followed by launches in Bangalore (7 May 2012),[14] Pune (18 October 2012),[15] and Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula(Tricity)(Airtel broadband authorized Distributor in chandigarh) (25 March 2013).[16] Airtel obtained 4G licences and spectrum in the telecom circles of Delhi, Haryana, Kerala and Mumbai after acquiring Wireless Business Services Private Limited, a joint venture founded by Qualcomm, which had won BWA spectrum in those circles in the 4G spectrum auction.[17]

Airtel launched 4G services on mobile from February 2014. The first city to get the service was Bangalore.[18][19]

Airtel had 100,000 4G subscribers as of January 2014.


Airtel has plans to launch WiFi services, initially in Delhi NCR, Mumbai and Bangalore. Users can use the service by finding a hotspot and selecting the 'airtel WiFi Zone'.[20]

Airtel Money

Airtel has started a new mCommerce platform called Airtel Money in collaboration with Infosys and SmartTrust (now Giesecke & Devrient). The platform was launched on 5 April 2012, at Infosys' headquarters in Bangalore. Using Airtel Money, users can transfer money, pay bills and perform other financial transactions directly on the mobile phone. It has an all-India presence.[21] Certain charges are levied per Airtel Money transaction.[22]


SmartDrive is navigation app exclusive to Airtel customers. The app features voice-based turn by turn navigation, traffic updates, and approximate travel time based on current conditions.[23]

The app was launched on 12 September 2012.[24] At the time of launch, it was available only in Bangalore, Mumbai and NCR.[25] Services are currently available in Chennai.[26] Service will be expanded to Pune and Hyderabad by December 2012.


The iPhone 3G was rolled out in India in 2008 by Airtel. However, high prices and contract bonds discouraged consumers and it was not as successful as the iPhone is in other markets of the world. Airtel introduced the iPhone 4 on 27 May 2011 and the iPhone 5 on 2 November 2012.[27]

Subscriber base

The Airtel wireless subscriber base according to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) as of November 2012 was:


"A" Circle

"B" Circle

"C" Circle

Airtel is the market leader in India with about 183 million wireless subscribers in India or about 20.62% market share at the end of November 2012. In 2013 version of the The Brand Trust Report published by Trust Research Advisory, Airtel is placed as the most trusted mobile operator brand in India.

Net Neutrality Debate

For more details on this topic, see Net neutrality in India.

In April 2015, Airtel launched a marketing platform called Airtel Zero, which allows application providers to pay for the data used by the consumers, enabling consumers to access specific mobile apps at zero data cost.[28] Flipkart, a leading Indian e-commerce firm reportedly was to become the launch partner of "Airtel Zero". The issue triggered debate on net neutrality in India[29] and following protests Flipkart pulled out of Airtel Zero.[30][31][32]

See also


  1. ^ a b [1]
  2. ^ "Mobile subscriber base now all time high at 97 crore". Retrieved 2015-02-08. 
  3. ^ Agencies (22 August 2010). "Bharti Airtel gets Gold Certification". Express India. Retrieved 21 November 2010. 
  4. ^ Biswas, Rudradeep (29 May 2013). "Airtel Beats Vodafone India To regain top slot in Rural Customer User Base". Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  5. ^ "Best Global Brands | Brand Profiles & Valuations of the World's Top Brands". Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  6. ^ "India's top 10 brands". Archived from the original on 28 October 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2010. 
  7. ^ Nikhil Pahwa. "". Archived from the original on 25 August 2010. Retrieved 23 August 2010. 
  8. ^ 20 Sep 2010, 05.40 pm IST,PTI (20 September 2010). "Ericsson, NSN and Huawei to build 3G networks for Airtel – The Economic Times". Retrieved 21 November 2010. 
  9. ^ "Airtel launches 3G in Karnataka". The Times of India (India). 24 January 2011. Archived from the original on 28 October 2011. 
  10. ^ "On 3 August 2011, Airtel launched 3G in Maharashtra & Goa". 3 August 2011. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  11. ^ "Quarterly Report Q2 2012" (PDF). Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 January 2013. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^ "Airtel 4G Services Launched in Bangalore". 7 May 2012. Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  15. ^ "Airtel 4G LTE Services Launched in Pune". 18 October 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  16. ^ Rudradeep Biswas (20 March 2013). "Exclusive: Airtel to Launch 4G/LTE-TD Services in Chandigarh Today". Retrieved 21 March 2013. 
  17. ^ "Bharti buys 49 per cent in Qualcomm BWA unit for $165 million". The Hindu (Chennai, India). 24 May 2012. 
  18. ^ "Airtel launches 4G on mobiles at same price as 3G – The Times of India". The Times Of India. 
  19. ^ "Bharti Airtel offers 4G services on mobiles in Bangalore". The Times Of India. 14 February 2014. 
  20. ^ Biswas, Rudradeep (25 December 2012). "Airtel WiFi to Be Rolled out Soon". Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  21. ^ "airtel mcommerce-mobile money bill payments and recharge". Retrieved 28 June 2012. 
  22. ^
  23. ^ Saxena, Anupam (12 September 2012). "Updated: Airtel Launches SmartDrive App To Offer Navigation & Live Traffic Info". MediaNama. Retrieved 18 October 2014. 
  24. ^ "Airtel launches navigation app with traffic info – Business Today – Business News". 13 September 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  25. ^ "Bharti Airtel announces voice-based navigation service, SmartDrive Apps | Applications | ThinkDigit News". 13 September 2012. Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  26. ^ suneel (19 September 2012). "Airtel Introduces Voice Based Navigation Service in Chennai". Retrieved 29 October 2012. 
  27. ^ "Airtel begins pre-orders of 16GB iPhone 5 in India for Rs. 45,500 | NDTV Gadgets". 29 October 2012. Retrieved 15 June 2013. 
  28. ^ "Airtel launches ‘Airtel Zero’". Retrieved 15 April 2015.  Archived from Bharti Airtel News
  29. ^ Mishra, Lalatendu (April 15, 2015). "Net neutrality debate rages". The Hindu. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  30. ^ Mahim Prathap Singh; Pradeesh Chandran (14 April 2015). "Following consumer backlash, Flipkart pulls out of Airtel Zero". The Hindu (New Delhi). Retrieved 14 April 2015. 
  31. ^ "Flipkart mobile app bears the brunt of the company’s reported plans to join ‘Airtel Zero’". BGR India. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015. 
  32. ^ "Consumers downvote Flipkart app after net neutrality controversy". India Today. 9 April 2015. Retrieved 10 April 2015. 

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