Does Airtel’s Open Network Mean Anything?
Have you seen the new Airtel ad about its ‘Open Network’? I really liked the part where mobile subscribers are shown venting their grievances about several things that affect them as customers. This project aims to provide information on Airtel’s tower maps, weak spots and signal strength. But how does this help us? In any case, if there is poor network or signal, the subscriber will have to move to another area with better coverage to make a call or for using data connection. What is more important for the average mobile subscriber is good quality of voice call, or data speed and no call-drops across places, when needed. 
 
A mobile network is distributed over areas called cells; each cell is served by at least one fixed-location transceiver, known as a cell site or base station. When joined together, these cells provide radio coverage over a wide geographic area (using towers), which, in turn, allows mobile handsets to communicate with others. However, remember, each cell tower has a limited capacity to serve a particular number of customers in the area under coverage. 
 
Also, the subscriber may be moving around while using the mobile phone. (For those who wonder why the mobile battery is discharged even when the handset is not used, here is an explanation. Mobile handsets and cell towers are designed to communicate with each other after a specific period to provide the user continuous connectivity. This process consumes battery power.)
 
If there is good signal strength (often denoted by four/ five bars), and limited number of users in that area, you would be able to make calls without drops or use the Internet with higher speed. If there are fewer cell towers, or higher number of users in that area, you will not get good signals or speed. In addition, obstructions, like building or trees, thick walls, or metals, also affect the signal strength. Volume of network traffic can also cause calls to be blocked or dropped. If you think, you are in a well-covered area, the company executive will convince you that there are a higher number of subscribers in that area leading to surge of network traffic. And, believe me, this will not change, even if you change the mobile operator. So what is the solution?
 
First, decide what exactly you want to use your mobile device. If you only want to make calls, try switching your network to 2G (denoted by E) from 3G (H or H+) or 4G. This is because mobile operators have covered most areas with 2G, over the years, which means you will get good signals with less call-drops. If you want to use data connection, try to find a free Wi-Fi zone or move to another location. 
 
If there is low strength in your area, like an office or residential building, check with the company, if they can install a signal booster. Another tip is not to hold your mobile device too tightly or block the internal antenna. Remember, how a few years ago, iPhone users were complaining about poor reception? It was found that the iPhone’s antenna was placed in the area that users hold the handset. So, find out the location of the internal antenna placement in your mobile phone (from the Internet) and avoid blocking this area while making a call or using Internet. 
 
As far as Airtel’s Open Network project is concerned, it shows coverage in a particular area; but does not address issues like call-drops or no network signals or dead zone. Even if the mobile operator shows the total number of users in a particular area, it will not help the subscriber, unless she moves to another area with better coverage and signal strength. This is what is needed. Hope the telecom service-providers pay heed to this. 
Comments
Satish K Neni
6 years ago
I received following response from Airtel from the last couple months. Funny part is when i check the network connectivity, the signal strength is Excellent. (Response from aitel - i am writing to you in response to your email regarding network coverage issues on your airtel mobile number 9xxxxxxxx9.
Basic your email, do realize this must be inconvenient, however, as discussed, network enhancement involves clearance, approvals from local authorities and owing to some external factors it may not be possible to provide you a time frame at this stage for resolving your network coverage concern at your area.
Please be assured, our planning team shall keep your feedback in mind for further network planning for your area.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Satish K Neni
6 years ago
I received following response from Airtel from the last couple months. Funny part is when i check the network connectivity, the signal strength is Excellent. (Response from aitel - i am writing to you in response to your email regarding network coverage issues on your airtel mobile number 9xxxxxxxx9.
Basic your email, do realize this must be inconvenient, however, as discussed, network enhancement involves clearance, approvals from local authorities and owing to some external factors it may not be possible to provide you a time frame at this stage for resolving your network coverage concern at your area.
Please be assured, our planning team shall keep your feedback in mind for further network planning for your area.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Satish K Neni
6 years ago
I received following response from Airtel from the last couple months. Funny part is when i check the network connectivity, the signal strength is Excellent. (Response from aitel - i am writing to you in response to your email regarding network coverage issues on your airtel mobile number 9xxxxxxxx9.
Basic your email, do realize this must be inconvenient, however, as discussed, network enhancement involves clearance, approvals from local authorities and owing to some external factors it may not be possible to provide you a time frame at this stage for resolving your network coverage concern at your area.
Please be assured, our planning team shall keep your feedback in mind for further network planning for your area.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Satish K Neni
6 years ago
I received following response from Airtel from the last couple months. Funny part is when i check the network connectivity, the signal strength is Excellent. (Response from aitel - i am writing to you in response to your email regarding network coverage issues on your airtel mobile number 9xxxxxxxx9.
Basic your email, do realize this must be inconvenient, however, as discussed, network enhancement involves clearance, approvals from local authorities and owing to some external factors it may not be possible to provide you a time frame at this stage for resolving your network coverage concern at your area.
Please be assured, our planning team shall keep your feedback in mind for further network planning for your area.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Satish K Neni
6 years ago
I received following response from Airtel from the last couple months. Funny part is when i check the network connectivity, the signal strength is Excellent. (Response from aitel - i am writing to you in response to your email regarding network coverage issues on your airtel mobile number 9xxxxxxxx9.
Basic your email, do realize this must be inconvenient, however, as discussed, network enhancement involves clearance, approvals from local authorities and owing to some external factors it may not be possible to provide you a time frame at this stage for resolving your network coverage concern at your area.
Please be assured, our planning team shall keep your feedback in mind for further network planning for your area.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
Satish K Neni
6 years ago
I received following response from Airtel from the last couple months. Funny part is when i check the network connectivity, the signal strength is Excellent. (Response from aitel - i am writing to you in response to your email regarding network coverage issues on your airtel mobile number 9xxxxxxxx9.
Basic your email, do realize this must be inconvenient, however, as discussed, network enhancement involves clearance, approvals from local authorities and owing to some external factors it may not be possible to provide you a time frame at this stage for resolving your network coverage concern at your area.
Please be assured, our planning team shall keep your feedback in mind for further network planning for your area.
Thank you for your patience and cooperation.
swarnadeep dutta
6 years ago
Airtel's internet using 3G/4G recharge coupon is the worst of all service provider. Not even a single web page can be opened when required, in last two weeks time i could download only one video received through Whatsapp. Shame on you Airtel guys...
K. M. Rao
6 years ago
If Airtel , for that matter any of the Telcom companies want to be honest, first let them furnish proper bills . I find except BSNL, none of the companies furnish bills which we can make out. They never indicate simple things like how much data / calls/ sms we used, what sre the limits, how much exceeded, at what rate charges are levied etc. I really fail to understand what Airtel gained by their recent campaign.
Arun Adalja
6 years ago
worst part is they charge you for customer service call.and if you have two sim cards tariff and call rate is different.how can it be?
Ashok Dubey
6 years ago
Nothing only try to foolish the people in present time the airtel network in extremely poor.
Simple Indian
6 years ago
The biggest "googly" about the Airtel ad is that only those who are already its subscribers will be able to download the App and see the network spread and other metrics as per the ad. What about potential / prospective subscribers who want to check Airtel's connectivity first, before they decide to opt / switch to Airtel ? Moreover, there are too many factors which affect data / voice call transmissions over a mobile network, which no operator will freely divulge, even to its own subscribers. The good old time-tested way to choose the best mobile operator is to ask around and see which operator the majority uses, and opt for it. Works best in most cases.
Anil Bhatta
6 years ago
I did use the open network and complained about the poor network at my office. Airtel promptly responded and sent their staff to check out the location. The solution was to use 2G for better network coverage....lol and that they are upgrading the nearby tower
Anil Kumar
6 years ago
Thanks. I don't have Airtel so was wondering what all the advt's and hullabaloo was about. You reviewed it well with some tips !
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