So instead of fighting over bandwidth issues with IM apps, it looks like Airtel has done what we've suggested last month. Airtel has finally launched dedicated WhatsApp data plans for its 2G and 3G users. Airtel is offering 200 MB of WhatsApp usage for one month starting from Rs 36 which varies according to circles. WhatsApp data plan can be activated by messaging 'WhatsApp' to 121.
The WhatsApp plan is priced lowest in Jammu & Kashmir circle, at Rs 36 while it is priced highest in Mumbai circle, at Rs 49. Although, we're quite puzzled about WhatsApp data plan being unavailable for users from Andhra Pradesh circle.
Although Bharti Airtel has its own Hike Messenger IM app, its usage and market penetration isn't as high as that of WhatsApp's in spite of pushing free SMS scheme that they are offering to Hike Messenger users. WhatsApp has recently crossed 50 million active users in India and more than 500 million users worldwide. WhatsApp was acquired recently by Facebook for $19 billion. Uninor, Reliance and Tata Docomo have already launched dedicated WhatsApp data plans.