Vodafone halves 3G data rates in Mumbai as Airtel launches 4G


With competition increasing due to the launch of 4G by Bharti Airtel and the impending launch of Reliance Jio, 3G data prices seem to be on a rapid decline.

Vodafone today announced that all 3G data packs in Mumbai will now offer double the data than previously, in effect halving the cost of 3G data.

“Pre-paid customers availing data recharge via 121 or through the special offers section on the Vodafone website and My Vodafone app, will enjoy double the value of the chosen data pack,” it said.

This offer is valid on all Vodafone pre-paid data recharge packs offered in Mumbai starting1st week of August.

Vodafone is the No.1 mobile services provider in Mumbai with a 32% percent revenue share. With 4.8 million data users in Mumbai, out of a total subscriber base of 8.4 million, Vodafone has seen overall data usage in Mumbai growing at 53% percent in the last one year.

However, of late, it has come under attack by Bharti Airtel, which recently came into possession of 900 MHz spectrum in the circle. That spectrum is being put into use by Bharti Airtel to launch a ‘premium 3G service’.

Mumbai is the most important market in India for Vodafone and has the highest contribution to Vodafone’s total profits from India. Being a home market, it is also important for Vodafone to remain as the leader in Mumbai.

“Vodafone has always stayed ahead of the market trends and successfully catered to customer requirements. Data has been a key contributor to Vodafone’s popularity and growth in Mumbai. The smart phone market in Mumbai is on a continuous ascend, 82 percent of Vodafone’s user base in Mumbai has data enabled handsets,” the company said.

“More than 57% of our subscribers today use mobile internet, primarily for surfing, email, social networking sites, etc. Over the last few quarters both the number of data users as well as the consumption of data per user has significantly risen,” said Ishmeet Singh, Business Head- Mumbai, Vodafone India.

“This ‘Double Data’ offer is our way of gratifying our valued pre-paid customers for choosing Vodafone as their preferred mobile internet provider. A host of data packs to cater to various customer categories and usage patterns are being offered.”

However, it must be kept in mind that Mumbai is India’s most congested mobile market. Data bandwidth in many areas in the south often fall to single digit kbps even on 3G. As a result, many users are actually willing to pay more to get reliable data coverage.

Vodafone, Airtel and Reliance Jio are all expected to cater to this demand via their 4G network. While Airtel has already launched its 4G service in Mumbai, the other two are expected to do so in the next five months.

Ahead of the launch of Reliance Jio’s services in December, Vodafone, Airtel and Idea are expected to slash 3G data prices to around Rs 150 per GB across India.

Vodafone Mumbai also introduced a Vodafone Data Premier League contest, which has in built gratification offers for Retailers driving sales of double data offer through the Vodafone’s 121 platform.

Vodafone India invested over Rs 1000 crores in Mumbai circle over FY 2014-15 to strengthen its network by putting up over 950 new 3G sites and expand its retail footprint with the opening of 11 new Vodafone Global Design Stores.