Vodafone 4G Launched in Bengaluru; CEO says Reliance Jio Will Shake-Up the Telecom Industry
Vodafone is finally done with its first phase of 4G operations in India by covering five major areas, Kerala, Karnataka, Kolkata, Delhi-NCR and Mumbai. Having launched the services this week in Mumbai, Vodafone 4G is now live in Bengaluru.
Just like other cities, Vodafone has not rolled out 4G everywhere in Bengaluru. It likes to tease its subscribers a little before everyone become equal. Its high speed internet services have been introduced in key locations like JP Nagar, Jayanagar, Basavangudi, Electronic City, Whitefield, BTM Layout, Chamrajpet, Kempegowda International Airport and Koramangala. Other areas will get full coverage by March 2016 as promised by Vodafone.
The silicon valley of India subscribers of Vodafone finally will be able to use 4G services in specific areas for now. Vodafone 4G internet operates on the 1800MHz frequency band which is more efficient and supposed to provide better speeds than other bands. This is something better for Vodafone as compared to other operators who are operating on different frequencies, not as efficient as this one.
The offers and bundles remain same across Bangalore as with Mumbai and Delhi-NCR. Subscribers can get 4G ready SIM cards from Vodafone outlets and switch from 2G or 3G to 4G for better speeds and experience.
Vodafone CEO wary of Reliance Jio’s services
Reliance Jio 4G services are yet to be introduced for the public, but other mobile operators are very much anxious about the increase in competition when the services go live. Reliance Jio is expected to price its services very low compared to industry standards, which could eat into the market share of the dominating Airtel and Vodafone.
“Any new player gives a chance to other industry players to re-examine themselves and get more innovative, which ultimately benefits the customers. Any new player will shake up Indian telecom industry,” Sunil Sood, CEO Vodafone India, told PTI during the launch of Vodafone’s 4G service in Bangalore.
However, Sood was quick to point out that the entry of any such new operator in this industry will definitely cause ripples because of the growing demand for high speed internet. Reliance Jio’s prices are expected to be lower than Airtel and Vodafone’s, giving them more space to innovate and plan out their pricing strategies.
Sunil Sood did not mention anything whether they will rethink their strategic partnerships in India or give a facelift to its services while there is a possibility of disruption from local players. However, Vodafone India is quite clear with the fact that their services are being offered at an optimum price with the right amount of included free bundles with 4G.
In my view, if the prices of 3G are being applied on 4G exactly, it is actually a good decision on their part because they will be providing the customer a better experience at the same price. However as more competition come in this year, they will be bound to offer freebies along with existing packages to sustain their business. Mobile Number Portability(MNP) is not an unknown term in India, nor as we Indians afraid of shifting from one operator to another as long as our money spent is being justified.