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HindustanTimes Thu,21 Aug 2014

Airtel, RCom wary of Rel Jio, to cut 3G prices

M Rajendran, Hindustan Times  New Delhi, May 04, 2014
First Published: 22:45 IST(4/5/2014) | Last Updated: 22:53 IST(4/5/2014)

With Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio in a big push to roll out its 4G services across the country, telecom companies are pushing low-cost tariff packages for 3G services.

Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, Reliance Communication and Aircel are gearing up to meet resident welfare associations and big customers in the current quarter to hawk low-cost data schemes and plans. "It will be an excellent opportunity for consumers to bargain hard," said Sridhar Pai analyst at Tonse Telecom.

Vodafone is building content partnerships, simplifying pricing, educating retailers and offering choices based on customers’ interests and consumption patterns. Aircel has tied up with online marketplace Snapdeal and hardware provider D-link to offer a slew of benefits such as more airtime and longer validity period at the same cost.

Airtel, which already has 3G services in many cities, is likely to offer more data at lower costs on its premium data tariff plans. With 3G roaming services to be restarted by Airtel from Monday, its customers in Haryana, Maharashtra, Goa, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh, Chhatisgarh, Gujarat, Kolkata and UP (east) would also get attractive schemes.

At present, good quality 3G services are available across key cities in India. In 3G services, customers get high-speed Internet access and a host of innovative services such as mobile TV, video calls, live-streaming videos and gaming.

On the other hand, 4G services, currently offered by Airtel in four markets, offer the fastest wireless services with buffer-less HD video streaming and multi-tasking capabilities. "But RJio is expected to beat it (Airtel), not by 15-20% but by 50-60%," said Sanjeev Sharma, former MD, Nokia India.


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