Airtel launches 3G service in State

Airtel launches 3G service in State

Bharti Airtel President Atul Mohan Bindal (left) and Operations Director for Mobile Services Vineet Taneja at 3G service launch event in Bangalore on Monday. DH Photo

Thus Karnataka is the first telecom circle where Airtel launched its 3G service and it will be follwed by launches in other circles in phases, in the next few months. By the end of March 2011, Airtel will have 3G service in all 13 circles it has obtained license and by March 2012 it will be present in 1500 towns in the country covering all 22 circles, said Bharti Airtel President (Mobile Services) Atul Mohan Bindal.

Airtel launched its 3G service from Karnataka because the State is one of its top three circles with 1.45 crore users and 50 per cent market share in terms of revenue, Bindal said. Airtel will be third player in the state to offer 3G after Tata Docomo and state owned BSNL.

Expecting a very high 3G adoption, Bindal pointed out that 3G is all about data or experiencing internet on mobile and Airtel will offer the most superior experience, claimed Bindal. 

“3G is much more than a technology migration - it is a transformational shift - and airtel’s focus would be to bring to its customers an enriched user experience on the back of a world class delivery network,” Bindal said. Explaining the superiority of its service, Bharti Airtel Operations Director and South Zone Head Vineet Taneja said, “Airtel’s 3G service is delivered on a high speed HSPA network to usher in a new era of life enriching services in entertainment, utility, commerce and health, all on customers mobile phone.”

Apart from 3G service on mobiles, Airtel will also launch datacards (known as dongles) with maximum speed of 3 mbps, 7 mbps and 21 mbps for fast data downloads. In a demo at the launch function it was demonstrated that a 5 mb music file was downloaded in just 3 seconds on a mobile handset.

To make people experience its 3G service, Airtel will have different types of data packages to suit all types of budget. Its ‘Sachet Packs’, meant for trials and low-use users,  will have a pre-paid amount with respect to money or minutes. One can, for example, subscribe to a Rs 49 pack and use it for internet browsing and downloads or a 60 minute pack for a fixed price.

For the medium users it has fixed packs of Rs 200, Rs 450 and Rs 750 and for heavy users its ‘Flexi Shield’ pack starts at Rs 650 for 1.25 GB download going up to a maximum of Rs 2,000 where usage and billing will be capped. Said Bindal “Many users are apprehensive of getting a huge bill for internet usage or are afraid that it may cost a bomb. That is the reason we have designed tariff packs to avoid ‘bill shock’ and to change the mindset.” 

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