Airtel 3G services could now be stopped earlier than expected. This is to make way for complete 4G coverage along with 2G services throughout India. Going by the latest signs, it appears imminent that the older wireless standard could be phased out very quickly.
Now, when we tried voice calls – from a 4G network to Airtel’s 3G network, at random points and with network connectivity being at maximum every time we made these calls, there were a lot of distortions observed during these calls. Also, frequent call drops were observed and encountered. Even “no-signal” conditionals were encountered at certain points in the smartphone hat contained the Airtel 3G SIM-card.
Then, a call to Airtel’s customer care made it clear that 3G services would be done away with shortly. The customer care executive, in fact, recommended switching to 2G for better connectivity for using the internet, in case 4G smartphones could not be availed. Hence, these signs are more than enough to gauge the fact that Airtel 3G connectivity could become history in the near future.
This comes at a time when Airtel started its “3G switch-off" drive beginning from the state of Kerala and Haryana. The telco had even sent out messages to subscribers warning of an imminent 3Gphase-out and upgradation to the latest 4G standards. With 3G users on the decline, 4G penetration has rapidly increased. However, 2G services would continue to be operational, to reportedly cater to the users (mostly feature phones) in the rural pockets of India.
Finally, aside from 4G and 3G, 5G is the latest talking point amongst certain global telcos who have started offering these services in certain countries of the world. However, would India need 5G? This is for you to decide, more than the telcos. The former is better off improving the current-gen services they offer and to fully cater to subscriber insights.