A “good” network – Vodafone India

October 17, 2013

in india, Mobility

I’ve heard many times over the last few weeks that Vodafone has a “good” network. That may trace to the ad below. The term ‘good’, in my western eyes, has a certain definition – but here, in India, it may not always work and may still roll back to 2G/Edge.  “Good”, is enough to change lives. Despite the shortcoming I may see, for users in India it is real progress.

In my view, India is just hitting the tipping point in large cities, where 3G seems to be the next step (desire) for every college bound student. Being connected is simply essential for their progress. Cool kids currently seem to be using Vodafone and if the ad is to be believed, Mum is still chasing them and they don’t ignore her!

When you catch up with friends or rush to a meeting, when you whisper to your sweetheart or call your mom to say you’re alright, our network’s always there to help you along. Made for uninterrupted conversations, for crystal clear voice, for superfast internet and for the widest reach – it’s the network that’s made for everything.  via Vodafone Network | India.

Vodafone is also the prepaid network I use when in India and so I’m always renewing and getting reacquainted with my plan options. This time my 1gb 3G dataplan valid for one month cost me Rs.251 or about USD4.00. I use this opportunity to visit both product retail and carrier stores working to piece together a broader picture of what’s changing and contrasting it with what I know back home. These are a few of the things I’ve observed from retail and advertising.

  • Android phones are now significantly cheaper. The sweet spot seems to be Rs.6000 to 8000. There are some cheaper, and many more expensive ones of course. The same price of a plain feature phone two years ago.
  • 3G data plans continue to drop in price although remain significantly more expensive than 2G/Edge plans. Example prepaid 2G Rs.125 (USD2) for 2GB valid for 30 days. That would buy your 300mb under a 3G plan. Rs.251 will get you 1GB for 30 days currently.
  • Big is generally seen as better. Screen sizes are getting bigger. And bigger.
  • All the stores are focussing on low-end Android phones, smartphones and less and less on feature phones. It is where the buzz seems to be, and many retailers say feature phone sales are dropping. “Good enough” means they might compromise a little on the screen size, as an Android is better than no Android.

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