New Delhi: After print ads and YouTube campaigns, Bharti Airtel Ltd has taken its Open Network initiative outdoor.

Initiating the outdoor campaign, India’s largest telecom operator has placed a large interactive touch-screen at a bus shelter in Delhi’s busy Nehru Place area. The screen lets customers experience Open Network by checking Airtel’s network coverage, signal strength and telecom tower deployment. After the pilot, the company plans to install similar touch-screens in other metros.

The screen enables customers to view Airtel’s network coverage of any location in India and also raise network issues and drop leads for new tower locations.

Currently, Open Network, available on a microsite and myAirtel app, also allows customers to report network-related issues. The outdoor campaign follows high-decibel television and print ads in June.

Dentsu Aegis Network-owned Milestone Brandcom is executing the outdoor campaign, which has an estimated budget of between 8 crore and 10 crore. Hoardings for the Open Network campaign have been placed at prime locations across 105 cities.

Rajiv Mathrani, chief brand officer, Airtel, said, “Open Network is an endeavor to establish an honest communication with our customers to help us build a world-class network. This latest innovation using a bus shelter in a high footfall area allows us to take the initiative closer to the customer, enabling them to touch and feel the network and give their feedback."

Nabendu Bhattacharyya, chief executive and managing director, Milestone Brandcom, said, “We had over thousands of interactions in three days in one location, and have planned the next phase at various touch points across the country. This is a first by any brand, to explore live open network in the Out Of Home (OOH) medium."

Airtel has opened its mobile network information to customers through an interactive online interface. The interface uses geospatial tools and other technologies for accurate reporting of network coverage. The company has classified network strength into four categories: excellent, good, moderate and no coverage. Consumers can suggest a tower site at a particular location and the company will review the request. The company claims that a new site request will typically take 3-6 months to be executed.

According to advertising industry estimates, Airtel has a total advertising budget of 300 crore a year. For its Open Network TV commercials, the company used the services of Denstu Aegis Network’s creative agency Taproot and media agency GroupM.