2G & 3G Tariffs Will Soon Converge: Vodafone
The 3G prices have been falling consistently for some time now. When the network first began, the prices of 3G were around 6-7 times of the prices of a 2G network. Such a scenario was highly prohibitive for adoption of 3G in India. However, soon, market played its part and the prices of 3G reduced with time.
Last year, the prices slashed as much as merely 1.5 times the price of 2G and this has seen a lot of growth in 3G. In fact, due to this, the growth of broadband has even become stagnant, as more people prefer the mobile internet to the wired one. However, this does not mean that all is good in the internet world in India.
According to Vodafone, only one-eighth of their user base is using 3G network. This is a miniscule number and Vodafone would love to tap that user base. Unfortunately, according to Subrat Padhi, Vodafone India’s Business Dead for Delhi, the 3G prices cannot be reduced any further. “The data prices in India are already one of the lowest in the world,” said Subrat Padhi.
The other logical step for Vodafone seems to increase the prices of the 2G data. This would mean that there would be no incentive whatsoever for people to use the 2G data and at least people who are using it will make the switch.
According to Vodafone, this is something that might happen in the future for all telecom companies. In fact, it is already happening, albeit slowly as the discounts are reducing on 2G data.
To reach out to smartphone users to encourage them to use faster 3G network, Vodafone has launched ‘Be Smart’ mobile Internet initiative.
The increase in the 3G internet users is very fast with almost 100% growth for most telecom operators. This is a clear indication that 3G is the present of mobile internet. Also, with 4G coverage increasing, 3G internet connection will become a norm.
Here are 2G, 3G and 4G numbers as per GSMA analytics
Also, in my opinion, once people get used to faster 3G speeds, they won’t go back to the slower 2G data plans. If the price of the two becomes same, the 2G data plans would cease to matter.
The biggest good that I think will come out of this is that in a few years, once 4G has spread considerably, telecom companies can even set the 2G data free for users to promote internet without fearing that their mobile internet customers will go anywhere.
With smartphones getting more bandwidth hungry, people will shift to better internet themselves.