Telecom companies are fighting each other with special offers and features to get user attention to their network, recently Bharti Airtel has announced its 4G services in 23 cities in India. Now the country’s second largest mobile operator Vodafone is also added 4G services to its network and it likely to launch these services by the end of this year.
Vodafone India, the country’s second largest mobile operator by revenue as well as subscribers, will launch 4G services by the end of the year, the company’s business head for Mumbai circle Ishmeet Singh said on Thursday.
Vodafone’s announcement comes close on the heels of the telecom arm of Reliance Industries Limited, Reliance Jio Infocomm, signing a pact with Chinese firm Huawei for sourcing 4G devices. Reliance Jio has earlier said it will launch 4G services this year in 22 circles, including 5,000 towns and cities.
During the February spectrum auctions, Vodafone won about 5 MHz spectrum in the 1,800 MHz band in five circles —Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Karnataka and Kerala. The company is currently conducting trials of its 4G services in these circles.
The company has over 8 million users across country out of which 4.8 million data users are in Mumbai. To attract subscribers the mobile network is also adding promotional features and offering double data at the same price. The mobile operator has announced this offer when a leading mobile operator Bharti Airtel announced about the commercial launch of its 4G service across 296 cities at 3G prices.
In March, Vodafone India announced a fresh equity infusion of Rs 6,000 crore. “We have contributed more than Rs 90,000 crore till now to the [government] exchequer,” said Sood.
The company is also strengthening its network infrastructure in the circle, where almost all mobile telecom subscribers suffer from call drops, connectivity issues, and a host of other network problems.
Sood reaffirmed Vodafone’s stand on net neutrality. “We are completely pro choice and for net neutrality. The customer has the right to choose which applications or websites he wants to use,” he said. In response to a question on ‘zero rating’ plans, he said it is a trivial matter. “It is just a price plan to encourage customers to use data plans. We have not offered it. We will take a look at it once the government comes out with rules on it.”