Bharti Airtel has been sending targeted ad banners to selected users for its 1 Gbps broadband connections on its Airtel Xstream Fiber connection. The banner ads from the company leads users to the Airtel Broadband page where users can select from a range of plans from Airtel and request installation. Gopal Vittal, CEO of Airtel in a mail to customers said that the company “will arrange for installation” as soon as possible even as it faces challenges in fulfilment due to COVID-19 lockdown. The Indian PM Narendra Modi on April 14 had extended the lockdown to May 3 but broadband is among the sectors that are allowed to resume from April 20.
Airtel Provides Free Installation and Router to Certain Cities
Crucially, Airtel has now lifted its previous banner on its site that suggested that it would reach out to new broadband users “as soon as permission is granted” for installation.
The company is also running new offers in certain cities including Chennai and Delhi where Airtel is providing free installation and router for those who sign up for long term plans. The banner notes that offer would expire on the night of April 17.
Airtel on its website hasn’t specified whether the sign ups for new broadband connections during lockdown would be restricted to certain plans. However, the CEO in his mail had highlighted the 1 Gbps plan and the banner ads being pushed to users also highlighted the same plan. It remains to be seen if the company initially schedules installations to those users who have signed up for the top spec plan from Airtel.
“We know how critical it is to have a consistent and seamless experience while working from home," Vittal said in his mail. “While we are facing challenges in fulfillment given the national lock-down, we will arrange for installation as soon as we can.”
The 1 Gbps plan from Airtel is priced at Rs 3,999 and offers users speeds up to 1 Gbps along with unlimited internet and unlimited calling. Airtel Thanks benefits including Amazon Prime, Zee5 Premium and Airtel Xstream are also bundled with the plan.
Airtel Pushes Back Broadband Expansion Plans
Airtel has also revised its timer on the new cities where it would be expanding its services with the new timer suggesting that the company would be launching its services on June 2. The company in the first week of April had revamped its website where it highlighted that Airtel would expand its services to over 25 cities across India.
The new cities include Ajmer, Aligarh, Bhilwara, Bikaner, Bundi, Dharamshala, Ghazipur, Gorakhpur, Hosur, Jagadhari, Jhansi, Jodhpur, Kakinada, Kolhapur, Kota, Mathura and Mirzapur. Airtel had included “Launching Soon” tag on these cities on its website and had a countdown timer which suggested when Airtel services would be made available to users. Several cities including Hosur had a launch date scheduled for April 30 or May 1 while now the cities have a revised timer with a suggested date of June 2.
The other cities that are also listed on the Airtel site include Muzzafarnagar, Rohtak, Shahjahanpur, Shimla, Thanjavur, Tirupati, Udaipur, and Yamunanagar.
It remains to be seen if Airtel delays its expansion further to the new cities due to the COVID-19 lockdown.