Bharti Infratel, the telecom tower arm of Bharti Group, is betting big on the significant increase in data usage as it is set to trigger the need for strengthening telecom infrastructure.
The launch and proliferation of 3G services has registered close to 25 per cent increase in data usage every quarter and consumption of data in the form of downloads is set to further accelerate if the current usage is any indication.
According to Bharti Infratel Chairman Rakesh Bharti Mittal, though efforts are underway to roll out 4G services in select centres, it would take a couple of years for the services to proliferate.
Speaking to reporters, Mr. Mittal, who was here to announce the company’s first IPO (initial public offering), said unlike 3G, there was need for upgrading existing infrastructure at the operator level, network and handsets capable of handling 4G services. “4G is effective within a radius of about 350 metres and it will take little longer than 3G to stabilise,” he said adding that this would necessitate further strengthening of the network.
He said Bharti Infratel, in association with Indus Towers, could cover 80 per cent of the geographical reach and the proceeds of the IPO, aimed at raising close to Rs.4,500 crore, would be utilised for expanding the infrastructure accordingly. The offer opens on December 11 and closes on December 14.
Replying to queries, he said telecom service operators were less inclined towards setting up their own tower network and preferred third-party services in the area. The company, he said, planned to spend Rs.1,100 crore on setting up 4,800 new towers, upgradation of existing infrastructure and addressing related issues over the next 30 months.