Airtel’s Sunil Mittal praises Mukesh Ambani: ‘We had to run very fast to catch up’

Bharti Enterprises founder and chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal has said that Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio’s efforts to push 4G technology in India has forced him to «catch up».

Acknowledging the contribution of the Reliance Industries Limited chairman and managing director to the growth of 4G, Mittal said, “I would like to remind Mukesh (Ambani) when he gave a lot of pace to 4G and we had run very fast to catch up with it. When COVID hit, the pulse of this nation did not stop even for a minute. Our work continued round the clock and its credit goes to Digital Mission.»

Chiefs of India’s three telecom units – Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea – were united at an event on Saturday where Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the fifth generation (5G) services in the country.

Mittal also lauded PM Modi’s understanding of technology and connecting it with the country’s progress.

«We are proud and very fortunate that we have amongst us a leader who understands technology meticulously. Many leaders appreciate technology but its granular understanding and linking it for the progress of the country, according to me what Modi Ji can do no one else will be able to do,» he added.

Airtel launches 5G service in 8 cities

Now, Airtel’s 5G service will be available from Saturday in eight cities. Thes include – New Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi and Bengaluru. With this, Airtel has become the first firm to launch 5G services in India.

«When you (Prime Minister) will launch 5G today. 5G from Airtel will be available in 8 cities — Delhi, Mumbai, Varanasi, Bangalore and other cities,» Mittal said.

He also said that Airtel will roll out 5G services in several cities across the country by March 2023 and across India by March 2024.

Bharti Airtel had placed the order for 5G gears with Ericsson, Nokia and Samsung immediately after the auctions were over.

The Sunil Mittal-led company had just acquired 19,867.8 MHZ spectrum in 900 MHz, 1800 MHz, 2100 MHz, 3300 MHz and 26 GHz bands, bolstering its spectrum holding.

Bharti Airtel acquired spectrum worth 43,084 crore in the recently-concluded auction.

With agency inputs

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