Airtel planning to aggressively increase data prices- How to keep using the internet at cheap rates

If you follow the news regularly, you might have come across the thwarting statement by Sunil Bharti Mittal of Airtel, who has stated that the data price should be set at Rs. 160 for 1.6 GB that boils down to Rs. 100 per GB of data. This reminds me of the infamous pre-Jio era when we used to pay close to this amount per month, to avail mobile internet services. But Jio brought about the epilogue of this era initially by offering free internet services, which later followed very cheap mobile data, and most other telecom companies in India, around 3 to 4 that survived the setback, followed the footsteps.

But the recent statement made by the Airtel chairman, that I just mentioned, in the beginning, is, as per the Airtel chairman, to maintain the sustainability of the telecom companies in India. But if the statement comes out to be practical, it is going to be a nail in the coffin for most heavy data consumers in India. But it is still uncertain, whether Airtel will follow what the chairman has said. However, even that Rs. 100 per GB is much less than most other countries. But cheap internet services empowered the Indians to use the internet, and if the price of the plans starts rising, it can really be big trouble for both the consumers, content creators, and most businesses.

So, today I will basically talk about, what steps can you take right now, so that you can keep using internet services at a low cost, and don’t let Airtel give you a blow. All might not be useful for you, but some will definitely be helpful.

Get a wired broadband

If you are living in a fairly good city, and you do some work that doesn’t involve a lot of traveling, you can get wired broadband in your home, and later set up a home Wi-Fi network. That way, you can connect all your devices, and can also share the Wi-Fi password with your family members so that they can also high-speed enjoy internet services at very cheap rates. Most local broadband services offer unlimited data at very high speeds, and that can range from as low as 20 Mbps to as high as 1 Gbps at almost Rs. 1,000 to Rs. 1,500 per month, or even less, depending upon which city you are living in. You can also opt for FTTH or Fiber to the Home that offers the same speeds at rates that I just mentioned.

With wired broadband, you can get stable download and upload speeds, and as I just discussed, the speeds are much higher than most 4G internet services by different telecom companies in India. With a home Wi-Fi connection, you can also set up a smart home and connect smart TVs, smart doors, or other devices so that those devices can also access the internet and offer you a better experience when you are at home. If you are just looking for an internet connection, this can be the best option for you. If you still need to go out, you can have a limited data plan on your mobile device, say 1 or 2 GB for a month, and if you have unlimited internet at your home, you can use the mobile internet for doing online payments or tasks that involve low data usage, and save all the high data tasks for your home Wi-Fi.

Get a long term mobile data plan

This might disrupt your monthly budget, and that might lead to short term problems for a while, but this is one good thing that you can do if you want to use the internet at cheap rates, or at rates that are presently available. Airtel and most other mobile internet service providers these days offer long term data packs with a validity of almost a year or so, and you can enjoy 1 or 2 GB of mobile data daily, or this can even be more, depending upon the exact amount that you are paying. This is not going to be a permanent solution as you will indeed have to recharge your number with the updated data plans with a high price tag, but 1 year can be enough to plan, what exactly you can do to access the internet after a year.

If you do not have enough funds to do a long term recharge, say for a year or so, just get the plan with the highest validity within your budget. You can get a plan with 56 or 84 days’ validity, and you can keep using the internet at reduced rates, as long as the plan is valid. However, I will definitely not recommend you to get a yearly or long-term data plan either by hooks or by crooks unless there is an official announcement made by Airtel or any other mobile service providers about the price hike.

Port to a new service provider

No matter which mobile service provider you are using, you always have the option to keep using the current number but with a new mobile service provider. Porting out to a new mobile operator is the first thing that you should do, however, I am keeping as the last point for a plausible reason. The telecom sector is an oligopoly sector, and let me explain that to you without digging deep into economics. An oligopoly sector is that sector, where the number of players is highly limited, and in almost all cases, the capital required to set up the business is extremely high, say airlines. One more characteristic of an oligopoly market is, the decision taken by one company will affect the other, as well.

It means if Airtel plans to increase the price of mobile data packs, and it is hence implemented, other telecom operators are likely to follow the footsteps. If other companies stick to the old data pricing, Airtel will lose customers, and that isn’t anything that Airtel will do unless it really needs capital for sustainability. So, porting out to a new number might not be useful, but it is still a resort to look out for. But if Airtel moves forward with the new data price regime, other telecom operators will likely do the same. It may be that Airtel just gave a hint of what is going to be the future of mobile data prices, and other companies are just silent.

So, there are several ways you can tackle the situation if the data prices are increased by Airtel. But there is no reason to be panic-stricken as no official statement has been made, and no final decision has been made in this regard. Hope the government will take certain decisions such that the Indians can keep using the internet and enjoy the services at low costs, like the situation at present.

So, that was all about the different things that you can do, if Airtel increases the data prices. Do you have any questions? Feel free to comment on the same below.

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