Ever since Jio entered the telecom market in India, the existing operators are gearing up to compete with Jio’s insanely priced 4G packs. The operators like Bharti Airtel and Vodafone India have been slashing their data rates rapidly to counter Jio. In one of the latest moves, Airtel has started offering 3G speeds to 2G data packs. Today, we got an SMS on our Airtel prepaid number, which touts the 2G data pack as 3G. Not just that, the message also urges to enable 3G /HSPA mode on our smartphone to enjoy browsing at 3G speed. We have attached the screenshot of the SMS below.
As surprising as it seems, never before had Airtel ever offered such service to its users. To recap, Airtel was one of the operators who increased the pricing of 3G data packs. Taking a cue from Jio and other operators, the company revised 3G packs and introduced 3G/4G data pack that offer 4G speed on 3G data packs.
It is noteworthy to mention that the not all the customers recharging with 2G data get access to browse faster by enabling 3G mode. To verify the fact, we called Airtel customer care and one of its executives said that the offer is limited to 2G customers, but the company is trying to share it with most of the customers. The executive also mentioned that the subscribers who get SMS (like the one we got) would need to recharge 2G data pack to enjoy 3G speed.
To sum it up, we think this one of Airtel’s moves to retain its customers. By upgrading its 2G users to 3G, the company is just working towards keeping them hooked to the network. It would be interesting to see how far Airtel can stretch its offer.
Airtel has still not confirmed the offer officially. But we think that with such offers, Airtel will give tough time to its fellow operators such as Vodafone and Idea. Unlike Airtel, not all the operators boast 3G spectrum in all the circles. Delivering the service in non-spectrum circles is highly dependent on the partner networks through Intra Circle Roaming Agreement (ICRA).