After 2G rate cuts Airtel announces 31% reduction in 4G data plans
Ravi Mandalia | On 24, Jun 2013
It seems that telecom operators in India are at war when it comes to rate of data plans as Airtel has announced that it will be cutting the prices of its 4G data plans by up to 31%.
Airtel is reducing the prices to boost the 4G adoption in India and to make the life of its competitors a lot more difficult. This move comes just 4 days after the company announced 90% rate cuts in its 2G data plans – a move which was a direct answer to Vodafone’s announcement of 80% rate cuts, which also prompted 80% rate cuts from Idea Cellular.
According to a top Airtel executive the company is planning to provide 4G wireless broadband services at a price point that is more or less equal to 3G prices making the 4G “wireless broadband services more affordable” and allowing Airtel to “stiffen the challenge for new competition.” This statement was understandably directed towards Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm, which is going to roll out 4G services in about a year’s time.
Airtel 4G subscribers in Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune and Chandigarh will have their base rates reduced from ₹650 to ₹450. Further, customers can subscriber to 2GB, 3GB and 4GB of free data usage at 4G speeds and they will be only charged as per 3G data charges of ₹450, ₹650 and ₹750 a month respectively. However, these entry-level customers will not be allowed to access Bharti’s 4G entertainment library services, which are only available to subscribers with higher data plans starting at ₹999.
The higher data plans will give subscribers free access to Bharti’s digital library that has over 1,000 movies and 100 games. Customers who have extensive mobile data usage may even opt for plans of ₹2,999 and ₹4,799 which will give them free usage limits of 45 GB and 80 GB respectively.
Analysts are of the opinion that Airtel’s move only affects four states as of now and despite the fact that it will boost 4G adoption, there are little chances that competitors will be too concerned as Airtel’s 4G network is only limited to these four states.