Last month, Vodafone rolled out WiFi offload app to shift data traffic to decongest the cellular network. The rising number of mobile subscribers in the country by the day is complicating operations for the telecom giants. There have been various complaints of 3G dropping to 2G very often, as there is a rise in the data usage in India.
After Vodafone, Airtel too has jumped into the bandwagon to reduce the clutter and decongest their cellular network. It has now launched an application called Hangouts to help the company improve its services. These apps are going to be a big relief for those on the go, as people who pay for 3G and get 2G speed only due to congestion. These zones are going to add more value to the services telecom companies provide.
Vodafone had earlier made its WiFi Connect available on Android and iOS. The process includes a onetime sign-in, and post that, anytime the user is in its WiFi zones in Delhi and Mumbai, one can use the Internet. Thus the customers will not have to use data and it will also help the network to decongest. It has about 100 such zones in all.
Just like Vodafone, even the Airtel app requires a one-time sign-in and can be used in Wi-Fi zones that offer data services through unlicensed, or freely available, spectrum. The app will be currently available in all Cafe Coffee Day outlets and some hotels and hospitals in Delhi. “We have Wi-Fi hotspots in about 100 locations in Delhi-NCR area,” an Airtel spokesperson told ET.
Both companies are building hotspots by themselves or through their equal joint venture FireFly Networks.
Airtel’s Hangouts app is currently available for Android-based smartphones and will be available for Apple’s iOS users soon. A notable point is that they wouldn’t be coming free of cost. The amount of data used over the WiFi would be deducted fromt the existing balance or billed to you.
Hosting wi-fi connectivity at public places like malls, railway stations and bus stops will be a great deal at this point in time where networks keep fluctuating. Especially while travelling, when you are in need to work on the go, or even kill time. Offloading here is a great way they have come up with to tackle congestion. Wi-Fi offloading is crucial given the limited spectrum available in the country.
We see that the companies are focusing only on major cities for now, where the data consumption is really high, decongesting the networks and would free up bandwidth. It would also satiate the users who have cribbed enough of the terrible speed.
Having WiFi in the face of data service is something we haven’t experienced yet, and can’t wait to experience.
Note: We tried looking for Airtel Hangouts app in play store and Airtel website, but could not find it.
This article has been well researched by Rise My Venture team.