The current lockdown due to COVID-19 pandemic has led to the residents of India’s commercial capital being confined within their homes, heavily dependent on connectivity to work, study, access essential services online, stay informed and entertained. Vodafone Idea’s 4G+ network in Mumbai is enabling Mumbaikars to stay connected by providing enhanced capacity and speed through massive multiple-input multiple output (ma-MIMO) deployments across Mumbai circle.

With over 1,550 installations of ma-MIMO in Mumbai, the highest by any operator in the region, Vodafone Idea is ensuring connectivity in the midst of the huge increase in demand for data during this period.

Commenting on the development, Vishant Vora, chief technology officer (CTO), VIL, said, “The world’s largest network integration undertaken by Vodafone Idea over the last year, gives us more capacity headroom, as do some of our latest technology deployments making the utilisation of spectrum far more efficient. Our investment in ma-MIMO technology to set up a 4G+ network is helping us meet the growing data demand during this crisis. In Mumbai alone, we have seen a 30 per cent surge in payload in these ma-MIMO in March 2020 compared to previous month, providing better customer experience even as the demand rises.”

A single cell of ma-MIMO carries 8.5 times the traffic as compared to frequency division duplex (FDD) and 3.5 times of time division duplex (TDD), leading to enhanced throughput and better spectrum efficiency.

Third party reports indicate better speeds for Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) customers in Mumbai, during the lockdown period.

VIL has deployed over 12,000 ma-MIMOs pan-India, the largest such deployment in the country.

To monitor and manage network operations in this unprecedented situation, Vodafone Idea has set up virtual war rooms where key team members are participating through concalls and VCs. Senior team members from operations / circles / super network operations centre (SNOC) and partners are continuously on call with field to ensure uptime and operational continuity. A comprehensive pandemic response plan with requisite risk mitigation protocols has been activated while ensuring continuity of mission critical processes for keeping networks working as telecom is an essential service.