The visionary turned arm-twister – Airtel.

Arguably, airtel provides one of the best cellular networks in India. In fact I have stuck on to airtel across the states, and the theory has been ascertained every single time, and generally speaking, I’ve not had much to complain about.

Now, I am contemplating switching to other providers, even though I can see that some of them offer services and interfaces which pale in comparison to Airtel.

With the emergence of all the Internet based communication offerings, the temperature in voice calls space has heated up somewhat, but airtel seems to have gotten it’s dance steps wrong and looks like a it’s reacting more than anything.

First they come up with the concept of differential pricing for types of data, which lead to all the debate on net neutrality.

Now again, they’re back. After having introduced the 4G network in various cities across the country, they are in a way “trying” to influence people into upgrading to that.

Earlier, it was about some lures like : Upgrade to 4G for the price of 3G, and stuff, but now I feel, the 3G network that I currently use, seems to be more flaky than before.

Also, complain to them about any of the broadband (fixed line) problems, and their sales team gets to you with a pitch about 4G hotspot.

The other “nail in the coffin” as far as I am concerned turned out to be when I traveled to a few places in Tamil Nadu, and Kerala. I’m not so sure to absolutely conclude it yet, but I have a hunch that the airtel network in south is not as big a deal. At least in 3 points I have experienced other phones (than airtel) to be working whereas airtel connection had stutters and drops.

Also the fact that airtel is the arm twister is not that big a secret. Following observation should suffice to say that.

The broadband plans they offered when I was in Delhi looked like over priced, and their services were nothing much to rave about either. So when I compared their offerings in NCR with that in Bangalore, I was in for a surprise. Simply being cut to size.

For putting it in numbers, compare the following:

  • Gurgaon plan : Rs. 1200 for 15GB @ 2Mbps.
  • Bangalore plan : Rs. 1100 for 60GB @ 8Mbps.

Looks like because of a monopoly in NCR they’re extorting what they can. I wonder how will I manage if I need to shift to NCR. 🙂

As for Airtel the saying holds : Make hay while the sun shines.

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