GPRS Airtel

by Thiyagarajan Maruthavanan (Rajan)

Veer mentions about a welcome move from Hutch on zero rental for GPRS from Hutch. As he rightly says any move from telcos in increasing data services adoption is always a welcome move and in India more than anything it is pricing which is the critical factor drives adoption.

In the same context I wanted to highlight’s Airtel’s service the recent structure of which I like a lot and I am not sure if it is much publicly known.

Airtel has divided its data as service into three categories.

Airtel Live: (pre installed on all pre-paid & post paid) – But this is the complete example of walled garden. A user is able to do GPRS but the only site that is browsable is Airtel WAP site. Airtel I am told makes a lot of money on this through ringtone & downloads.This is of not much use to me.

Airtel Online: This is a service which has to be activated by sending two SMS is charged at Rs 5/day. In this service one can browse any WAP site and it is eat as much as you can – unlimited option . It is charged on a daily basis and can be shutdown any time by sending another SMS. I use this option and it works really great, the best part about this as Manoj had mentioned in MoMo Delhi is that it works even if GSM network is down. My GSM connection had stopped working while I was in Mumbai & Delhi but I was happily browsing blog posts through my GPRS connection.

( For activation send SMS

AO to 6333

ALL to 2567 )

( For cancellation send SMS
AO CNCL to 222 )
Airtel Mobile: This option allows you to make use of your mobile phone to connect to your Laptop/PC and enable internet connection to your Laptop/PC. This is again an unlimited download option and is charged at Rs 20/day. It can be activated by sending one SMS. The connection is active from the time it is activated to the next day morning ~11 am. If you wish to continue you would have to send another SMS. I have not tried this but have heard mixed reviews about this.

( For activation send SMS

MO to 6123)

If one really looks at it the price points are not much different from the competitors. Airtel Online comes pit tp ne 150 Rs/month and Airtel Mobile is 600Rs/month. But the model adopted is what is remarkable which gives a lot of control to the user.