Indianomics
A blog on Indian Economics and personal interests of its authors

Airtel changes clothes, launches 3G

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Bharti Airtel, India’s leading telcom provider has changed its Logo and the Signature tune following its intention to launch 3G services in India. Airtel won 3G licences in 13 telecom circles of India: Delhi, Mumbai, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Uttar Pradesh (West), Rajasthan, West Bengal, Himachal Pradesh, Bihar, Assam, North East, Jammu & Kashmir. Bharti is expecting to launch its 3G service by December 2010

New Logo of Airtel v/s Old Logo
New Logo of Airtel v/s Old Logo

Coupled with the re-branding of Zain’s assets in Africa, Bharti Airtel will also re-brand in Sri Lanka and Bangladesh, with no clarity of how it will re-brand its operations in Channel Islands where it is known as Airtel – Vodafone. The Branding in Channel Islands is largely following the Vodafone ideology and hence, only a Logo Change is expected.

Airtel Vodafone in Channel Islands
Airtel Vodafone in Channel Islands

Airtel has launched 200 3G experimental zones where 3G services will be tested. Airtel launched its 3G intention after the MD, Sunil Bharati Mittal made a video call its brand ambassador Shah Rukh Khan. To promote the new change, Airtel has released a new TVC and Signature tune by A. R. Rehman.

Those are now freely downloadable from various sources, or from Airtel’s own website. Personally, I am not a fan of the new logo as I believe the earlier one was still fresh and not outdated. However, the general feeling among the masses is positive, so I would hold my comments at that.

What to expect from Airtel’s 3G services is vague since the experience with state owned provider’s services. BSNL and MTNL have not been able to succeed in their 3G services. Blame it on their 3G network coverage which are not available nationwide.

Tata Docomo has already launched its 3G services in India in its circles (Gujarat & Daman & Diu, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Madhya Pradesh & Chhattisgarh, Maharashtra (excluding Mumbai) & Goa, Punjab, Rajasthan, Western Uttar Pradesh & Uttarakhand). If Docomo’s pricing plans are anything to go by, dont expect every one to splurge on the hype of 3G services.

Other thing to note for a 3G services is that not all handsets allow you to browse at 3 Mbps speed. Here is a list of mobile phones that have HSPA.

Positively hoping that 3G plans come down to what we have right now and match with the 2G plans. However, having spent a total of Rs. 50, 967 Cr. together, I dont think they are going to let it loose anytime soon, and forget Unlimited calls or Data transfer.

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