New Delhi : Telecom giant Bharti Airtel is likely to shut down its 3G services in next three to four years, a top official of the company said on Wednesday. Airtel will be refarming the spectrum linked with 3G to its 4G services.
“There is almost no spent that we are doing on 3G. Our view is in next 3-4 years we are likely to see 3G network actually shut down faster than 2G network because there are still 50 per cent of phone being shipped out in India that are feature phones,” Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, India and South Asia, Bharti Airtel, said during earnings call today.
He said that the company is investing in 4G technology to build more data capacity in the network.
The company will use 2100 megahertz band, which is used for 3G services, and 4G services.
“Where we have second career of 3G or third career then through flip of software you get incremental capacity on 3G. Most of that spectrum will finally go towards 4G for which we will need to have radio units,” Vittal said.
He said that in some telecom circles the company had installed modern 3G equipment which can support 4G services but the initially deployed equipments for 3G services will need to be replaced.
“Some of the older radios are pure 3G which we need to replace and It will take its time. I think that the answer for that will be function of how fast pick up of voice happens on VoLTE (4G voice call network). The moment that happens voice will not be required to be carried on 3G which can help reafirm us 2100 Mhz for 4G,” Vittal said.