Since Airtel’s 4G launch, a recent court ruling allows intra circle 3G roaming, and operators can offer 3G services in states where they do not own spectrum by getting into agreements with one another. So if you are an Airtel 4G customer, you would think that you will finally have access to high speed internet across the country, even while roaming, akin to what Airtel’s 3G customers now enjoy? Wrong.
Turns out if you are a 4G customer, you can only roam on Airtel’s 4G network for free – which is less than 5 cities in the entire country. So for example if I go to Delhi where Airtel has had 3G services for years, I will not be able to jump from 4G here in Chandigarh to 3G in Delhi, but will be kicked down to EDGE! This is despite paying a premium for the 4G service. The sheer absurdity of this policy is that it includes states where Airtel even has its own 3G network.
This doesn’t stand to logic, as 3G customers in one region enjoy 3G services in other circles while roaming for free, and you would think Airtel would keep the same policies for 4G users as well. So I called customer care, wondering why I wasn’t getting 3G coverage in Delhi?