Vodafone Idea which is currently in the process of phasing out the 3G network across the country says it is upgrading the network in Kerala circle. Vi is informing this news to its customers in Kerala via an SMS, but what's more interesting is the mentioning of '4G-only' services. For the unaware, Vi has already refarmed 3G spectrum for 4G in four circles- Delhi & NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Gujarat. However, in these cities, the telco just phased out 3G services and retained 2G services. That seems to be not the case with Kerala circle as the telco might be completely moving to 4G. But again, we are not sure of the exact development, so there are chances that Vi is just conducting 3G spectrum refarm for 4G in Kerala similar to other circles.
Vi Likely to Become 4G-Only Operator in Kerala
Reliance Jio is the first LTE-only operator in India. Bharti Airtel phased out its 3G network across the country, and it was recently followed by Vodafone Idea as well. As mentioned above, Vi officially confirmed that the 3G spectrum refarming already completed in four circles- Delhi & NCR, Mumbai, Bengaluru and Gujarat.
In the latest development, Vi is sending the following SMS to its customers in Kerala. "Hello! We’re upgrading our network to 4G-only to provide seamless connectivity and high-speed data experience. We request you to kindly select 4G data preferred network type in the network settings of your mobile handset to continue using our services. Dial 199 if you need any further assistance." This news was first posted by our reader Araving Unni.
As you can see, the SMS clearly says Vi will soon become an LTE-only operator in Kerala. The telco currently has 2G, 3G and 4G services. After its merger with Idea Cellular in 2017, Vodafone's network got a major boost in Kerala. In early 2019, Vi deployed band 40 spectrum in Kerala which resulted in faster speeds compared to the band 3 LTE the telco used in the past.
As part of its 3G spectrum refarming process, Vodafone Idea is deploying additional 5 MHz of 2100 Mhz band spectrum to increase the total 4G bandwidth in select circles. If Vi becomes 4G-only operator in Kerala, customers might see a boost in 4G speeds and also improved services.