The move is in line with the Bharti Airtel’s plans to shut down 3G network across all circles by March 2020.
Bharti Airtel is shutting down its 3G services across India with an aim to strengthen its 4G network in the country and has initiated this strategy from Kolkata on June this year where the circle is no longer have coverage in the 3G network and recently it has been extended to Haryana followed by joining this change in Punjab circle. In a recent official statement, Bharti Airtel has mentioned: “Mobile broadband services in Punjab will now be available to Airtel customers on its high-speed 4G network along with HD quality VOLTE calling.”
Airtel has led the 4G story in India, having launched India’s first 4G network in Kolkata on April 2012. In March 2013, 4G services were launched in Punjab with Tricity, followed by successive launches in FY 14-15 and FY 15-16 to have customers across 12 towns in the state to experience 4G services. Today, there are over 300 towns across India where Airtel has its 4G services available.
Now Bharti Airtel will continue with the 2G network in circles like Haryana, Punjab & Kolkata for customers who are still using feature phones. While Bharti Airtel cannot shut down it’s 2G services and network for the customer without smartphones, but shutting third-generation services is important in courtesy of faster 4G network.
For customers who are still using 3G services, Bharti Airtel suggested them to upgrade to the fastest 4G service which is currently available for all. Currently Bharti Airtel is offering a free sim upgrade program where customers can upgrade their existing 3G sim card to latest 4G service on free of cost however to support 4G sim card and network, customer needs to purchase a new smartphone.
An initiative to strengthen its 4G network in the country, Mr. Randeep Sekhon, CTO, Bharti Airtel, said in a statement –
We plan to re-farm all of our 3G spectrum across India and deploy it for 4G in a phased manner. Also, it complements the smartphone ecosystem, which has now gravitated overwhelmingly towards 4G only devices
Commenting on an announcement, Mr. Manu Sood, Hub CEO – Upper North, Bharti Airtel said,
As customers across these 15 towns in Punjab are showing an increasing propensity for consuming data services, we at Airtel are excited to take the lead in further expanding the power of blazing 4G speeds to the market. Today, as we expand Airtel 4g for our customers in the state, they will be uniquely positioned for a superlative 4G experience. We are committed to building a world class 4G network in the region
Bharti Airtel’s Unmatched value
4G at 3G prices: Airtel customers can enjoy 4G at 3G data prices with prepaid packs starting at Rs 44. In addition, with every 4G SIM swap, Airtel is offering six months of unlimited music streaming and downloads on ‘Wynk Music’ and five free movies per month for six months on the Eros Now channel of ‘Wynk Movies’.
Seamless customer experience
To provide un-interpreted service, the company has extended a few services as below,
Instant SIM swap in minutes
- SMS SIM <20-digit SIM Number> to 121 from your Airtel mobile
- Reply 1 to confirmation SMS and wait for the phone to get disconnected from the network
- Insert 4G SIM, switch on the handset- select LTE in network settings
- Free Home delivery of SIMs – http//www.airtel.in/4g/sim-swap
- Flexpage: This breakthrough technology is an automated platform that allows customers to track their data usage and get real-time usage alerts. With Flex page, customers can also upgrade their mobile plan on the go, as and when they exhaust their monthly data quota.