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Airtel steps up its response to RJio with $310m Project Next

The dramatic entry of Reliance Jio into the Indian 4G market, armed with free data and a shiny new high capacity network, is certainly provoking radical response from the established operators. Mobile market leader Bharti Airtel, in particular, is trying everything from acquisitions to a significant network upgrade program to new services. It is being squeezed on multiple fronts – by the new entrant on one hand; and on the other, by the consolidation of its older rivals, notably the proposed merger of Vodafone and Idea Cellular, which would create a new market leader. Parent firm Bharti is reported to be mulling its own mega-merger, combining Airtel with Tata’s telecoms activities (see Wireless Watch July 10 2017). Meanwhile, Airtel aims…

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