Airtel upgrades broadband data for free

New activation plan prices slashed by up to 30 pc
Last Updated 10 August 2015, 20:22 IST

In an aggressive push to boost its landline home broadband subscriber base, Bharti Airtel has reduced plan prices for new activations by up to 30 per cent, and let existing subscribers get a free data upgrade from 1GB to 25GB.

Packaged as “Airtel Surprises,” this offer will be available in four cities and seven towns across Karnataka, besides 100 towns countrywide till August 31. Disclosing this to Deccan Herald, C Surendran, Bharti Airtel’s CEO - Karnataka attributed the data offering to a huge demand triggered by work-from-home options, video streaming and movie downloads in households.

Existing home broadband customers are offered a choice: They could either upgrade to higher speeds or get the additional data benefits on their existing plans. These, Surendran reiterated, would be “completely free of cost.”

By slashing new activation plans by up to 30 per cent, subscribers could start a broadband connection at Rs 699. This comes with a free subscription of F-Secure antivirus and parental control for three devices along with a Wi-Fi router at no extra cost.

To avail the new offers under the package, customers would have to log on to http://broadbandsurprises.airtel.in and unlock the customized offers. They could select either the speed or data upgrade options here. A third option to choose a combination of speed and higher data is also available, informed Surendran.

Rising data demand
Betting big on the rising demand for data consumption in homes, both Airtel and BSNL had introduced free calls from landline phones attached to broadband services. Airtel’s Rs 49 offer allowed subscribers to make free local calls, while its Rs 99 offer gave them the option to make unlimited local and STD calls. Surendran informed that almost 70 per cent of the new data customers in Karnataka were going for the unlimited calls option.

Industry sources said Airtel, being the leading private player, held a 32 per cent market share of the DSL Broadband sector. ACT had a 25 per cent share in a market led by the State-owned BSNL. The competition is expected to intensify even further due to the dramatic upsurge in data consumption in homes. The entry of a slew of Wi-Fi connected devices, including increasingly affordable Smart TVs, could drive this data demand even further.

(Published 10 August 2015, 20:22 IST)

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