Airtel is all set to move its subscribers to their high-speed 4G network along with HD quality VOLTE calling. It had notified the customers in advance and asked them to upgrade to 4G compatible phones and switch to 4G SIMs. However, the ones who are yet to upgrade their 3G handsets or SIMs will continue to have access to voice services.
4G Long-Term Evolution is a standard for wireless broadband communication for mobile phones and data terminals which is based on the GSM/EDGE and UMTS/HSPA technologies. The service provides high-speed Internet access to users while increasing the capacity with the use of a different radio interface together with core improvements in the network. The high-speed connection fits the needs and provides faster Internet speeds for its consumers living in suburban and urban areas with more high-speed broadband service options.
Airtel is looking to phase out 3G services in India. The company has already discontinued support for the 3G network in certain states and will use the spectrum to improve its 4G LTE services. Customers are required to upgrade to the 4G network with a new SIM card. In a company statement, Airtel had stated that the company’s broadband services will now be available to Airtel customers on 4G network along with HD quality VOLTE calling.
Airtel started the process of shutting down the 3G operations last year in July 2019, when the company first wound down the wireless network in the Kolkata circle.
As noted above, the company first announced the shutdown last year in July with the Kolkata circle with due notifications. Since then, the company has phased out its 3G services in states like Haryana, Punjab and Kerala. However, Airtel still continues to provide 2G services to its customers across these states in order to serve the connectivity needs of users on feature phones. It also serves as the primary source of connectivity for feature phone users. According to reports, the company had stated that the spectrum that has been used for plying their 3G services in those states will be dedicated to the 4G services in the provinces. The move was to improve the connectivity for 4G users.
The process of shutting down the 3G operations has already started and it has been reported that the entire 3G network would be shut down between December 2019 and March 2020. According to Bharti Airtel CEO, Gopal Vittal, (India and South Asia) they have seen an upgrade when someone moves from 2G to 4G. He also added that they will only have 2G and 4G networks probably by April 2020. All of their spectra will sit on 4G other than the administered spectrum which is on 2G, plus a small slug of the spectrum that they require to run on the company’s 2G networks. Apart from this, everything else will be sitting on the 4G band, Vittal clarified.