Taking a leaf from competitors such as Asianet Cable, Bharti Airtel, one of India’s biggest private sector Internet providers, has upgraded all its volume-based broadband customers to 2 Mbps in the big cities and to 1 Mbps in others.
Customers, such as those who have been using 256 Kbps connections, need not pay anything to have their speed increased.
It was not immediately clear whether the ‘unlimited’ plans such as 512 Kbps unlimited will be discontinued or not.
For now, users will have to pay Rs 650 for usage of upto 3 GB of data. In comparison, MTNL offers 5 GB for the same price while MTNL Mumbai offers 2.5 GB for Rs 600 per month. BSNL Bangalore offers 2 GB for Rs 300 per month and 4 GB for Rs 599.
Actual rates will be higher by around 12% because of taxes.
MTNL had converted most of its limited usage customers (volume-based) into high-speed connections over the last one year.
The high speed 2 Mbps connections are applicable over Delhi, Noida, Gurgaon, Faridabad, Ghaziabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune. In other places, it will be 1 Mbps.
For 1 Mbps cities, the price of 3 GB will be only Rs 549 and for 6 GB, it will be Rs 699.
All speeds can be doubled by adding Rs 100 to the bill.
The move is part of a broader recognition in the market that limiting the speed of a volume-based connection only serves to the user browsing less and remaining within the data cap. If the user does not breach the data limit, the company does not get extra charges in the form of over-billing for crossing the cap.