Idea Cellular, the country’s third biggest telecom operator and holder of 4G spectrum, is offering 1 GB of 4G data in 190 cities spread over eight states as part of a ‘pre-book’ offer.
The scheme is applicable only to those who have Idea phone numbers. Subscribers will have to also change their SIMs to a new 4G-enabled one in coming days to benefit from the scheme.
At present, the offer is available in 61 cities in Karnataka, 43 cities in Andhra Pradesh, 31 cities in Tamil Nadu, 25 in Madhya Pradesh, 19 in Orissa, 14 each in Kerala and Haryana and 10 cities in Punjab. The full list of cities is attached at the bottom, and is likely to increase as the company expands its network roll-out.
The operator is currently in the expansion and testing phases in these cities and in many of them, the Idea 4G signal can already be seen through a network test using a suitable mobile.
Unlike Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, which use band 40 and band 3 depending on spectrum availability, Idea Cellular is using only band 3 in all its circles.
“Once 4G is live, Customer will be intimated about 4G Launch & the SMS & short code to avail the pre-book offer, the company said. “To consume the Pre Book Offer, Customer should be upgraded to a 4G SIM & should have 4G compatible handset on Band 3.”
The 1 GB free data will be valid only for 14 days after the customer receives an SMS informing him or her of the credit. The free quota cannot be used on Idea’s 3G network, or on the LTE network of any other operator, the telco said.
India’s third biggest telecom company is yet to announce even a single 4G launch in the country, and was beaten by Vodafone — which is seen as a weaker player — to become the third operator in India to launch fourth generation services.
Vodafone has 4G operations in only one city in India. Bharti Airtel has LTE networks in over 300 cities, while Reliance Jio is expected to start operations in thousands of towns and cities next month.
Idea has the third biggest LTE-suitable spectrum in India, with a coverage of 12 circles including lucrative ones like the four southern states. Airtel has such spectrum in 16 circles, while RJio has it in all 22 circles.
Idea is currently trying to launch its 4G services as close to the official kick-off of services by rival Reliance Jio on Dec 27.
According to industry sources, the Aditya Birla Group company would have 4G operations in over 100 cities by the end of next month, with first launches happening in early January.
To register for the offer, click here.