Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Compare Apples to Oranges - 4G in India

Airtel's whole big drama about 4G challenge:

4G is the buzz word which we are listening to everyday. Simply put, 4G is the shortened name for the fourth generation of the wireless data transmission networks set-up by the mobile phone industry in order to offer more bandwidth and greater speeds for everyday mobile device operations, such as messaging, video calling and mobile TV.

Recently I came across this advertisement of 4G challenge by Airtel “If your network is faster, we will pay your mobile bills for life”. First of all I was impressed with the impact, but then when the illusion wave swept away, I realized it’s just a marketing gimmick; which is great because this is the need of the hour, you do have to go out of your boundaries to showcase yourself. But does it have to be so unjust? What Airtel's challenge looks to me is all unfair and groundless.

 It feels like someone is saying my horse runs faster than your mule. This challenge seems unjustified since Airtel is the sole 4G operator in the country. They will obviously be able to provide much better speeds, since 4G is superior than 3G. 4G is usually claimed to be about 5 times faster than 3G. That's what Airtel is challenging on. Speeds will be very good initially because there are hardly any subscribers using 4G but as the load of subscribers increases the speeds will come down and prices too will shoot up gradually.

Even after putting their best foot forward, it feels like they have lost the battle and that too standing alone in the battlefield. All surfing through the net is bad reviews about Airtel. Approx 80% reviews are negative. Who so ever has tried Airtel 4G are not happy with the result. Their connectivity is low, speed is slow, the customer support is poor, the fraud ratio in billing is high, their network plays hide and seek most of the time.

Even if one rises up against all the odd and goes for the challenge; then also what? The only places where these challenges will take place will be their own choice location which obviously will have the best network availability. Unless someone like Akshay Kumar or Shahrukh Khan fighting against WWE Champion or a Sumo wrestler in the movies, it is impossible to win.

But at the same time, one should give credit where it’s due!  Airtel took the initiative to enter the 4G sphere first in India, their whole packaging idea, their confidence to put up such a big challenge, their new redesigned website dedicated to 4G. Airtel is also offering free 4G SIM to the aspirants and delivering it at customer’s doorstep.

Had they put up this challenge for their 3G network, then I would have loved to see the results. I hope Airtel lives up to this challenge even after other operators like Vodafone, Reliance Jio, Idea start providing 4G services…

By Kadambari Lama

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