Indian market leader Bharti Airtel is using Huawei’s CloudAir to bolster its 4G coverage so that it can compete more effectively with Reliance Jio.
The solution allows the operator to deliver LTE together with GSM and UMTS in the same 900MHz band, which Airtel CTO Abhay Savargaonkar said “improves our LTE coverage significantly”. CloudAir enables the dynamic sharing of spectrum resources by different radio access technologies.
To achieve this, CloudAir uses on-demand allocation instead of static allocation, allowing GSM, UMTS and LTE to use 900Mhz spectrum simultaneously. Static allocation schemes have previously been the standard, but CloudAir’s dynamic scheme allocates air interface resources such as spectrum, power and channel based on criteria such as weight of traffic or the user’s location.
In this way, Huawei claims that dynamic allocation allows operators to increase the spectral efficiency of their networks, as well as boosting capacity and augmenting user experience. The vendor noted that by the end of 2017, CloudAir had been deployed in over 30 commercial networks.
Airtel has a 24% share of India’s mobile market. In 2017 it increased its 4G connections twofold to 16.7 million, but it still tails Reliance Jio in this regard. The rival operator, which entered the market in September 2016 and has a 12% share, had 145 million 4G subscribers at the end of 2017.