Vodafone Idea Ltd (Vi) will upgrade its existing 3G customers across all markets to 4G network in a phased manner to provide faster data speeds and services using Vi GIGAnet technology, the Birla group company said in a statement on Sunday.
The announcement follows the company’s efforts to integrate the brands Vodafone India Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd and consolidate their networks, two years after the merger in August 2018. The brand integration was announced earlier this month.
“The company will continue to offer basic voice services to its 2G users… The company’s enterprise customers currently using 3G based services will be upgraded to 4G and 4G based IoT (internet of things) applications and services,” India’s third largest telco said.
With the integration of network nearing completion, the telecom company has substantially improved its 4G capacity by re-farming large chunks of 3G spectrum to 4G. It has re-farmed 900 MHz (megahertz), 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz spectrum bands to 4G network.
“With highest quantum of spectrum in the country and large part of it already re-farmed for 4G, VIL (Vodafone Idea) is now best placed to upgrade our 2G/3G users to high speed 4G data services,” said Ravinder Takkar, managing director & chief executive, Vodafone Idea.
The company has expanded its 4G coverage to 1 billion Indian population, Takkar said.
Vodafone Idea said the deployment of L900 technology in many markets has enabled better 4G coverage indoors. L900, or long-term evolution 900 technology, optimises 4G coverage indoors. L900 technology uses the 900 MHz spectrum band.
Mint on 7 September had reported that the loss of millions of 2G customers during the covid-led lockdown could turn out to be a blessing in disguise for telcos, enabling them to speed up their 4G coverage by re-farming unused spectrum to better technology.
According to experts, while telecom firms were already on the path to upgrading their networks to 4G by re-farming the existing 2G/3G spectrum, the lockdown has paved the way for faster realisation of these plans to reduce fixed costs and improve services.
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