Advanced investments, added capacities to meet surge in data demand: Airtel CEO

NEW DELHI: Bharti Airtel on Thursday said it is determined to do all it can to ensure a seamless network experience for users even amid the “incredibly difficult time” and that the company has advanced investments and added capacities to meet the surge in data demand.
Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal, in a note to subscribers, outlined a series of steps that the company has taken to ensure that users remain connected with their loved ones and are able to work effectively from home, in the wake of a 21-day nationwide lockdown imposed to fight the spread of coronavirus.
Alternate channels like bank ATMs, pharmacies as well as grocery stores have been activated as the company is fully aware that there is a large population which is not online and is unable to recharge at their regular retailers, he said.
“I want to assure you that even in the current time of crisis, we are determined to do everything we can, in order to ensure that you continue to enjoy a seamless and brilliant network experience,” Vittal said.
He said the company has been working to ensure uninterrupted mobile and broadband services for retail and enterprise customers. “Our network operating centers and data centers continue to be operational to ensure smooth functioning of the network. Our field staff continue to be on the road to ensure speedy provisioning of new connections and timely fixing of faults. Further, we have advanced investments and have added capacities to meet the surge in data demand,” Vittal said.
Citing the unprecedented situation, he said the company is aware of its critical role “in this incredibly difficult time”.
“This is a situation that none of us have confronted before. Large swathes of the country are now at a standstill. Our own lives have been turned upside down – our social interactions, our physical contact, even our walking around – simple things that we take for granted have changed. At the same time, so many millions have been displaced and their livelihoods shattered. Our thoughts and prayers are with them,” he said.
The Airtel CEO further urged users to tap digital medium to recharge.
“You can also help, do your bit, and recharge for those around you, who do not have access to a digital channel. You can recharge at Airtel.In or through the Airtel Thanks app,” he said.
Airtel is also aware that there is a large population which is not online and is unable to recharge at their regular retailers. “To address that, we have activated several new channels – Bank ATMs, pharmacies as well as grocery stores. We also want to thank our partners – HDFC, ICICI, Apollo and Big Bazaar – who have helped us enable this in a span of days,” he said.
He urged users to leverage digital medium to raise their query/concern as call centers are running at reduced capacity.
“We have strengthened our IVR (Interactive Voice Response), which can now address 98 per cent of all your concerns. In case the IVR can’t resolve it, we have enabled a functionality that allows you to create a ticket on the IVR itself. Or better still you can raise your issue through the Airtel Thanks App. Rest assured, once raised digitally, we will address it on priority,” he said.
To lend a helping hand to migrant workers and daily wage earners impacted due to the nationwide lockdown, the company has extended validity for over 80 million customers and credited talktime in their accounts to enable them to make critical calls and text messages. (AGENCIES)