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Airtel Launches Network Expansion Plans for UP and Uttarakhand

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Bharti Airtel announced massive network roll-out plans for Uttar Pradesh (UP) and Uttarakhand with the aim of enhancing customer experience as well as expanding high speed data and voice services to deep rural pockets.

As a part of its network expansion program – Project LEAP, during FY 19 Airtel plans to deploy more than 17,313new mobile sites along with 6,650KMs of fresh optic fiber across the two states.

The deployment will create significant high speed data and voice capacity within the network to serve the explosive surge in mobile usage, driven by affordable smartphones and tariffs. Customers will be able to enjoy superior network coverage – indoor and outdoor – thanks to deployment of cutting edge technology solutions.

With a deployed base of 43,219sites at the end of FY 17-18, this planned rollout would grow Airtel’s network in UP and Uttarakhand by 40% to 60,532 further enhancing the speeds and voice qualities. The addition of fresh optic fiber would extend Airtel’s fiber backbone in the two states to 26,800 KMs in the region, supporting the growth of high speed data services in the region.

The massive roll-out would mean addition of more than 2 (two) new site every hour to Airtel’s future-ready network in UP and Uttarakhand. From the total of 17,313 new sites, about 10,138 will be rolled out in UP (East) while 7,175 sites will be deployed in UP (West)& Uttarakhand.

Shailendra Singh, Chief Executive Officer – UP & Uttarakhand, Bharti Airtel Ltd, adds, “Keeping in mind the fast evolving usage habits of the new-age mobile internet user and the ever increasing smartphone penetration, we have committed ourselves towards the availability of best-in-class mobile data experience to our users in the progressive states of UP and Uttarakhand. We will continue to invest aggressively in the region and take our network capabilities to the next level, ably backed by a scaled up and strengthened infrastructure. As the leading mobile service provider in the country, we are glad that we are able to contribute significantly towards the Government’s vision of Digital India with our enhanced speeds, reach and coverage.”

Airtel’s network is trusted by over 49.6 million customers across UP and Uttarakhand. Its service cover 983 towns and 1,24,515 villages across the two states.

The expansion plan for FY 2018-19 follows a fruitful FY 2017-18 which saw more than 11,453new sites being deployed in the UP and Uttarakhand, extending its mobile broadband footprint to 983 towns.

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Networking

Bharti Airtel Announces 5G Ready Network

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In a major landmark, Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) announced that it has become the country’s first telco to successfully demonstrate & orchestrate LIVE 5G service over a commercial network in Hyderabad city.

Airtel did this over its existing liberalised spectrum in the 1800 MHz band through the NSA (Non Stand Alone) network technology. Using a first of its kind, dynamic spectrum sharing, Airtel seamlessly operated 5G and 4G concurrently within the same spectrum block. This demonstration has emphatically validated the 5G readiness of Airtel’s network across all domains – Radio, Core and Transport. 

Airtel 5G is capable of delivering 10x speeds, 10x latency and 100x concurrency when compared to existing technologies. Specifically, in Hyderabad, users were able to download a full length movie in a matter of seconds on a 5G phone. This demonstration has underlined the company’s technology capabilities. The full impact of the 5G experience, however, will be available to our customers, when adequate spectrum is available and government approvals received.

Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO, Bharti Airtel said: “I am very proud of our engineers who have worked tirelessly to showcase this incredible capability in Tech City, Hyderabad today. Every one of our investments is future proofed as this game changing test in Hyderabad proves. With Airtel being the first operator to demonstrate this capability, we have shown again that we have always been the first in India to pioneer new technologies in our quest for empowering Indians everywhere.” 

“We believe India has the potential to become a global hub for 5G innovation. To make that happen we need the eco system to come together – applications, devices and network innovation. We are more than ready to do our bit.” added Gopal Vittal.                  

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Networking

Airtel Xstream Fiber Rolls Out Gigabit Wi-Fi Experience

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Bharti Airtel (“Airtel”) has kicked off the New Year with some exciting news for customers with the launch of hyper-fast Wi-Fi experience. 

Airtel Xstream Fiber customers can now enjoy 1 Gbps data speeds over Wi-Fi and no longer have to be constrained by a dedicated LAN cable. The Airtel Xstream Fiber Rs 3999 plan now comes with a complimentary 1 Gbps Wi-Fi router to go with unlimited data quota and massive bundled content.  

The highly advanced 4×4 Wi-Fi router, will enable seamless 1 Gbps Wi-Fi coverage across Homes and Small Offices. This will unlock a great experience for online gaming and animation and for work or study from home with large number of concurrently connected devices. Small Offices will be able to deploy multiple high speed connections for applications such as stock trading and online collaboration that requires reliable high speed connectivity with zero downtime.      

Says Vir Inder Nath, CEO – Homes, Bharti Airtel: “Reliable high speed connectivity is a lifeline in today’s digital first world and Airtel is proud to be at the forefront of India’s broadband revolution. A key ask from our customers was liberation from the LAN cable to enjoy the 1Gbps experience and we are delighted to make that happen.”        

Airtel Xstream Fiber’s 1 Gbps broadband plan at Rs 3999 also comes with a complimentary Airtel Xstream Box that offers 550 TV channels and OTT content from the Airtel Xstream app library that includes over 10,000 movies & shows aggregated across 7 OTT apps and 5 studios. It offers subscription to premier video streaming apps such as Amazon Prime Video and ZEE5, all accessible through the Airtel Xstream Box.

Airtel is India’s largest private sector broadband service provider with presence in over 150 cities. 

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Networking

5 Things to Check for a Secure Home Wi-Fi Network

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Many people think that “no hacker would be interested in my home network.” But everyone has something that’s valuable to attackers: personal information, bank details, financial data, perhaps even a webcam that could let criminals know when you aren’t at home, or that might let creeps spy on you when you are.

And if you’re working from home, it’s worth remembering that for a skilled attacker it’s just a hop, skip and jump across the network from your personal computer or connected device to your work laptop, and possibly from there to the whole company network.

Tip 1. Apply those updates

“Patch early, patch often” is a regular mantra on Naked Security, and it applies to all access points, modems and routers you use for your home network, as well as all the devices that can connect to it.

Take a moment to check when your firmware was last updated. If it’s not up to date, patch without delay.

Set your devices to automatically install updates where possible. If you discover that you are unable to update (for instance, if the manufacturer is no longer providing support), consider migrating to a device that is properly supported.

Tip 2. Check your encryption settings

We recommend using at least WPA2-PSK (AES) encryption, also known as WPA2-CCMP. (PSK stands for Pre-Shared Key, which is the password you need to connect to the network in the first place.)

WPA2 was first ratified by the Wi-Fi Alliance in 2004. If the router you’re using doesn’t support WPA2, upgrade to a newer model that does.

Never use WEP, short for Wired Equivalent Privacy, because the encryption system it uses was cracked completely many years ago – it gives nothing but a false sense of security.

Tip 3. Pick a proper password

Pick a proper password for your Wi-Fi network.

It’s tempting to use a short and obvious password so it’s easy to type in on devices such as phones, or to read out for friends who want to join your network while they’re visiting.

But an obvious password makes it easy for people you haven’t invited onto your network to connect up as well. You only need to enter it once, so a little bit of extra hassle putting in the password in the first place is worth it to make it harder for outsiders to guess the password in future.

Remember also that if you have allowed a guest to access your network but then decide that you don’t want them connecting any more, you will need to change the password to keep them out.

Tip 4. Check who’s on your network

It’s worth taking a moment to see which devices have accessed your Wi-Fi network recently. Many routers have an option in their management pages, usually accessed via your browser, that will show you which devices have connected recently.

Are there any rogue computers online? Perhaps the teenager next door is still connected from their last babysitting session? Are there any home devices such as webcams or baby monitors that you’d forgotten about or thought you’d turned off?

If there are devices accessing your network that shouldn’t be, disconnect them. Changing the Wi-Fi password will stop any unwanted devices getting back online automatically.

Tip 5. Review your IoT devices

IoT is short for Internet of Things, and it refers to devices that didn’t used to be computers in their own right, such as webcams, smart speakers and doorbells, but that now connect to your Wi-Fi network by themselves, and operate independently.

Paul Ducklin’s recent article on 8 tips to tighten your work-from-home network included some great advice for securing IoT devices such as webcams and smart speakers. The main takeaways are:

  • Only connect devices that you really need to have online. Power down devices when you’re not using them.
  • Make sure you know how to update your devices.
  • Configure your devices correctly,
  • Change any risky settings, such as default passwords.
  • Check how much data you are sharing.
  • Put IoT devices on a ‘guest’ network if you can.
  • Turn on ‘client isolation’ if available.
  • Make sure you know who to turn to if you have a problem.

That said, we must take a deeper look at our security and check that everything is as it should be.

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