vodafone

Vodafone has launched its 4G services starting with Kochi, Kerala. The company will begin rolling out the services to customers from the 14th of December with packs priced at Rs 29 for 120 MB data to Rs 2,499 for a 20 GB data pack.

The telecom operator is currently offering users 4G SIM exchange with same day postpaid SIM delivery and activation. Other than this, Vodafone’s RED subscribers will be provided with twice the data for the first 3 months. Additionally, the company mentions its 4G mobile wifi will support up to 10 devices, although it’s not clear if Vodafone is referring to a wifi device or tethering abilities.

The 4G services will be launched on the 1800 Mhz band, spectrum that Vodafone had acquired in 11 circles including Andhra Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Haryana, Karnataka, Kerala, Kolkata, Mumbai, Punjab, Rajasthan, UP (East). The operator had won additional 1800 MHz spectrum in this year’s auctions held in March. Interestingly, in August the company had said it would launch in Mumbai, Kolkata, Bangalore, Delhi and Kochi by this year end.

The telecom operator will also offer free unlimited movie subscription to 4G users, with access to over 7500 movies for 3 months, along with free unlimited music streaming on Vodafone Music. Note that Vodafone is not very specific if its free music streaming is a promotional offer, or if it is effectively ‘Zero Rating’ the service and violating net neutrality.

Developments in 4G deployment:

– Last month, Idea Cellular entered into an agreement to acquire the rights to use spectrum currently with Videocon Telecom in the 1800 MHz band in two key circles – Maharashtra and Uttar Pradesh (West) – for Rs 3310 crore.

– In October, Tikona Digital said it would start providing 4G broadband services in the first half of 2016 across 30 cities in five telecom circles.

– In August, Videocon said it would launch its 4G services in MP, Gujarat, Haryana and Punjab by the end of this year.

– Airtel, which launched commercial operations for 4G services in 296 towns and cities in August, is currently offering 4G data packs starting from Rs 25.

– Reliance Jio Infocomm claims that it is now present in all 29 states in India and has a direct physical presence in nearly 18,000 cities and towns.