Once believed as the best network providing 3G service with the fastest data downloads, Airtel has decided to stop providing 3G services as 4G services are more preferred by users.
Another reason why Airtel has taken this decision is the 4G phones becoming affordable as a result of which more people are accessible to buy 4G phones be it any section of the society. Another reason to take this decision is the new competitor “Reliance Jio” entering the market, which promises faster downloads; it is a 4G only service.
The company is working on strategies to re-farm the 3G spectrum (2,100 MHz) for 4G service, and the “company is scaling down the investments in 3G segment,” Airtel’s India Operations CEO Mr Gopal Vittal said.
The 2G network will still remain in the market, which is used for voice operations mostly. Compared with 2G network, 3G network will shut down faster, Mr Gopal Vittal stated when the day showed a decline in net profit by 77% but 300 % data flow per subscriber.
There is a huge population using phone with such features in the country. In rural areas and small towns, majority of low-priced devices are 2G phones. While bidding for 2,100 MHz spectrum, mobile companies went over the top when 3G was the most coveted service for data. In the 2010 spectrum auctions, it was quite evident which gathered in the revenue records of telecom department.
Over the last 1 year, things have changed drastically with the emergence of 4G, encouraging companies to alter the tracks and upgrade faster. 3G tariffs are same as 4G prices. On the 2,100-MHz spectrum the company will build capacities for 4G.
The situation is changing fast with most companies watching for 4G subscribers and with affordable bundled offers. Jio has turned out with a Rs 1,500 4G phone that guarantees free calling and certain information advantages to clients at an ostensible tax design. Also, the client can look for discount for cash paid for the gadget following three years.
With some home-grown device makers like Karbonn, Airtel has tied up, and other mobile service providers such as Idea Cellular and Vodafone are also expected to do the same as the above companies.