India is celebrating the growth in mobile data. But 3G mobile Internet speed doesn’t bother telecoms such as Aircel, Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular, MTS, Reliance Communications, Tata Teleservices, Vodafone, etc.
Look at some of the marketing campaigns of these telecoms or their brochures in your nearest mobile shops. You will see price of the mobile Internet packages and the data you can consume during a particular period. Most of these marketing tools do not talk about speed, one of the demands of 3G data users, across the country.
Interestingly, telecom regulator TRAI headed by Rahul Khullar and telecom minister Kapil Sibal did not advise Indian telecoms to improve mobile Internet speeds. In fact, when telecom minister last week shared the report card of the telecom industry to attract voters during the 2014 Lok Sabha election on Twitter, some of his followers complained that “speed and quality matter to mobile users”.
— Kapil Sibal (@KapilSibal) March 16, 2014
Nokia Solutions and Networks (NSN) this week will share its 2013 MBit Index saying India’s 3G data traffic growth surpasses world’s average. Interestingly, the main focus of the third edition of MBit Index is on traffic growth and data consumption and not mobile Internet speed. The report will be available on March 26.
See the campaign of Reliance Communications. It says Reliance gives India 3G speed at 2G rates! Now get 1 GB 3G data at just Rs 156. So what are you waiting for? Even if you navigate the full page of this information on the website of Reliance Communications, you will not find any information on mobile Internet speed. It focuses on sharing data available, price of data and duration. For instance, Reliance Communications offers 3 GB for Rs 482 for 30 days.
Bharti Airtel offers 10 GB data for Rs 999 for 30 days. Bharti Airtel is also silent about 3G data speed that can attract Indian mobile users. It’s offering 4 GB data for Rs 449 and 2.5 GB for Rs 249.
Idea Cellular is also silent about speed that matters to subscribers. Idea Cellular offers 3 GB data for Rs 598, while it charges Rs 651 for 3 GB unlimited data. In the Rs 598 offer, if you are consuming more than 3 GB data, your mobile Internet speed will be dropped to 80kbps
Vodafone India is also not free from highlighting about mobile Internet speed. Vodafone charges Rs 449 for 2 GB data. 5 GB unlimited package from Vodafone will cost you Rs 850. It offers unlimited free browsing at reduced speeds up to 64kbps post pack quota consumption, till the expiry of the pack i.e. 30 days.
The Maxis-owned Aircel says it provides high-speed mobile Internet. Aircel, under its Simple Value Plan priced at Rs 499, offers 1 GB per month (200 MB per month after 3 months), 1400 minutes of talk time, 100 Video Call Mins and 2500 SMS.
Tata Teleservices will charge you Rs 253 for 1 GB data and talk time worth Rs 253 for 30 days.
All these telecom operators do not commit minimum 3G net speed and mobile subscribers are up in arms against poor quality speed. Since telecom operator are hinting lower Capex plans in coming years, India does not expect a miracle in improvement in speed and better customer experience. 3G is close to 4 years old in India. What about 4G. There will be no different experience to Indian mobile users for the time being.
Pix source: Airtel