Indian telecom service provider Bharti Airtel announced 4G LTE services at 3G rates on Apple iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c smartphones in Bangalore.
The availability of 4G LTE at 3G rates indicates that 3G price of its rivals may undergo downward revision. However, Bharti Airtel announced the new 4G prices in Bangalore and the impact will not be pan-India.
Airtel announced the new prices at a time when Reliance Jio Infocomm, which invested Rs 11,000 crore in 1800 MHz spectrum that enables it to launch 4G on FD-LTE technology in 14 telecom circles. This is besides the capability of Reliance Jio Infocomm to launch 4G on TD-LTE technology on the 2300 MHz band in 22 circles.
Recently, Airtel announced that it added 100,000 LTE users in 4 circles ever since its launch.
CSFB in action
The new initiative is aimed at enhancing user experience and increase Airtel’s data revenue. Earlier, Airtel 4G users were getting data on their dongles. Using the CSFB (circuit switched fall back) technology, Airtel will ensure that its users can migrate seamlessly from 2G and 3G networks to 4G.
In a statement, Airtel said its Bangalore on Apple iPhone 5s or 5c will be able to experience 4G on their mobile at the current 3G prices while on the move. Customers have to change their existing SIM to a 4G SIM to start enjoying 4G on mobile without any need to migrate from their existing data plan.
Customers on 2G/GPRS data plans/packs can also opt for any of the 3G plans/packs available and enjoy 4G speeds. In addition to these plans, for heavy data users, Airtel also announced the launch of a new 4G plan giving customers 10 GB 4G data for Rs 1,000. While data browsing will be on 4G network, voice calls will be routed on 2G/3G seamlessly with the CSFB (circuit switched fall back) technology.
“Airtel mobile customers using the Apple iPhone 5s and 5c devices can start experience Airtel 4G immediately. While existing Airtel mobile customers have to update their existing SIM to a 4G SIM and select their preferred pack (any existing 3G pack is automatically 4G). New customers can buy the 4G SIM and any 3G data pack/plan,” said Srini Gopalan, director – Consumer Business, Bharti Airtel India.