With call drops becoming frequent, top telecom operator Bharti Airtel has blamed the lack of mobile towers for this problem, saying there is an urgent need to clear the ‘misinformation’ about their radiation effect.
“We need both spectrum and more sites for mobile towers. In Delhi Lutyens area alone we need 217 sites, but we have only 117 sites,” Gopal Vittal, MD & CEO – India and South Asia, Bharti Airtel, told PTI in an interview.
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“There is need to create awareness among the people and clear misinformation that they have about radiations,” he said.
The statement comes in the backdrop of Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad doing some tough-talk on the issue of call drops. He recently said the telcom operators need to walk the “extra mile” to ensure that quality service is delivered to people and that consumers do not face issues like call drops.
Stating that Bharti Airtel has always tried to offer best services to consumers, Vittal also said the company has adopted a “reduced pay as you go” for data usage by the 4G customers.
The company has slashed the 4G mobile internet rate by about 88 per cent to Rs 500 per gigabyte for usage after a subscriber exhausts subscribed limit of data, he said.
“For 4G we have reduced pay as you go (data usage beyond subscribed limit) to Rs 500 per GB because 4G data speed is very high and customer can end up with paying more compared to a 2G or 3G network,” Vittal added. Airtel is offering 4G service at same price as 3G mobile Internet.
In case of 3G, a person may end up paying about Rs 4,000 per GB after he used mobile internet beyond subscribed limit and for Airtel’s 2G subscriber it is about Rs 10,000 per GB. “You have to look at speed on network. In case of 2G, a person may exhaust only small amount of data and in 3G it may be little higher,” Vittal said.
On 4G network, Airtel promises to deliver super-fast internet speeds using which a customer see high definition video streaming with zero buffering, downloading 10 movies in less than 30 minutes, uploading two high resolution photos per second, etc.
Vittal said the company has launched a new service for post-paid customers which allows them to buy additional data schemes after they have exhausted subscribed limit and even gives option to downgrade their subscription limit.
“A page will now appear on mobile screen of customers, the moment they exhaust their data limit. It will give them option to either buy additional data pack or downgrade their existing limit. It is for post-paid customers and they can change their plan twice in a month,” Vittal said.
The company is ramping up its 4G network and gradually launching service across various cities in the country. It recently launched 4G service in Ambala, Karnal, Yamunanagar, Hisar, Bengaluru, Nagpur, Aurangabad, Mangaluru, Ludhiana, Jalandhar and Amritsar.
The company is currently running 4G trials in Delhi, Hyderabad, Vizag, Madhurai, Chennai, Coimbatore and Mumbai with existing Airtel customers.