Aircel's 4G entry could spark price war in India

Currently, market leader Bharti Airtel is the only telco offering 4G LTE services in India, but that could soon change with Aircel’s plans to jump on the bandwagon within the next 3 to 6 months.

Aircel could become India's second telecom operator to offer 4G LTE services within 3 to 6 months, as it launches its network across established cities in India, reports The Times of India. Furthermore, Aircel could also be in a race against Reliance Industries-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm to be the second carrier to launch 4G LTE services.


Aircel's established service areas are primarily in South India, as the company plans to offer 4G LTE services in cities such as Chennai, where it already has a 20 percent market share. In contrast, Bharti Airtel has focused within Northern and Eastern India, but hasn't had much success because of quality issues.

Once a second carrier introduces 4G LTE services, consumers will surely benefit from having both more 4G LTE devices available on the market, along with incentives and deals. Personally, I see high demand being in the established metros, such as Mumbai and New Delhi, as subscribers will want to make the switch to the 4G LTE experience. Furthermore, more audio and video on demand services are expected to be availed to subscribers, and having a 4G LTE connection will only make this better.

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Furthermore, this could also result in price drops for existing devices, along further decreases in tariffs and rates for both voice and data on CDMA, 2G, and 3G connections. With India already having some of the lowest rates in the world, many wonder how do the Indian telcos turn a profit in the first place?

Keep in mind it's not uncommon for people to have two, sometimes even three, SIM cards. As such, dual SIM card and even triple SIM card devices are quite popular in India. In fact, I would say it's almost become standard now to have at least a dual SIM card phone from most leading manufacturers, especially the ones from India. It's definitely more convenient carrying one device instead of multiple and has become the norm for business people across India.

Unfortunately, for those who make the switch to 4G LTE connections, they will have to pay more for a new device, as current dual SIM card and triple SIM card devices are unlikely to be compatible.

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