MUMBAI: Bharti Airtel, India’s largest telecommunications services provider, has launched 4G services across 130 towns and villages in the country’s northern frontier including Kargil, Leh, and Dras. This makes Airtel the first operator to launch 4G services in the Ladakh region. Dras, located in Kargil district and considered the gateway to Ladakh, is the coldest inhabited place in India and the second coldest in the world.
“As part of Project Leap, we will continue to channel investments towards building a world-class future-ready network that touches every Indian,” Ajai Puri, Chief Operating Officer (India & South Asia), Bharti Airtel said. Airtel’s network teams and partners overcame the challenges posed by extremely difficult terrain and harsh weather conditions, including sub-zero temperatures, to deploy a 4G network in the region.
Airtel’s 4G deployment will also ensure that tourists visiting the region stay connected to high-speed data services. Kargil War Memorial, Sangam, Magnetic Hill, Shanti Stupa, Leh Palace, Thiksey Monastery, Alchi Monastery, Lamayuru Monastery, Moon Land Lamayuru, Sakti towards Pangong Lake, Stok Palace and Hall of Fame are amongst the popular spots now covered by Airtel 4G.
The roll-out is part of ‘Project Leap’ announced last year, wherein the company will invest Rs 60,000 crore in the next three years to build infrastructure and network. Under the project, Airtel’s nationwide 4G footprint now spans Ladakh in the North to Kanyakumari in the South and Tawang in the East to Kutch in the West. Airtel launched India’s first 4G service in Kolkata in 2012.