Vodafone Idea to upgrade 3G users to 4G in key markets, won't switch off 2G

Vodafone Idea (VIL) will upgrade its 3G users to 4G in key markets, a step to bridge the gap with rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio who have a larger 4G penetration.

“VIL will now be able to offer faster 4G data speeds to its 3G users on the Vi GIGAnet network,” the telco said in statement on Sunday.

The company’s enterprise customers currently using 3G based services will be upgraded to 4G and 4G-based IoT applications and services, in a phased manner.

However VIL said it will not stop its 2G services, which have a large number of users, especially in the rural areas.

“While the company will continue to offer basic voice services to its 2G users, 3G data users will gradually be upgraded to 4G in a phased manner across all markets,” the telco with around 280 million subscribers said .

The telco, now known by the new brand name Vi, launched GIGAnet, an integrated 4G network post the merger of Vodafone India with Idea Cellular.

Recently, the telco had said it has 16 key circles which will be the operator’s focus point to gain subscriber and revenue market share.

VIL’s push towards more data and 4G come at a time when it is desperate to stem customer losses.

Jio added nearly 4.5 million mobile phone users in June 2020, taking its subscriber tally past 397 million, while Bharti Airtel and Vi lost 1.12 million and 4.82 million customers, respectively. Both Airtel and Vi said they ended the quarter with around 280 million users.

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