It took a while but Airtel finally opened the gates to 4G for Mumbai customers this weekend. This launch makes Mumbai one of the biggest circles for Airtel to bring the next-generation high-speed network.
One important thing to note here is that this is not a commercial launch as Airtel terms it a ‘trial’ that will help them gather valuable customer feedback around the quality of its 4G services. However, that does not mean the service is for the select few.
If you’re an Airtel customer (prepaid or postpaid) and own a 4G-enabled device, you can enjoy 4G LTE with a simple SIM card swap. Airtel is offering to exchange existing 3G SIM cards with USIM that supports 4G service. Although Airtel maintains swapping of the SIM card is free of cost (this is true in a company-owned store), we were charged Rs. 50 at a franchise. You can also request Airtel to courier the SIM card free of charge simply by requesting at the link below.
As for the plans, existing 3G users on both postpaid and prepaid can use the same data plan, however, it is still unclear if Airtel plans to launch 4G-centric plans in the near future.
The coverage is a mixed bag. While we found 4G coverage in most parts of the city, there are many dark spots where you won’t get 4G coverage easily. Understandably, Airtel wants to improve the coverage, which is why they have also created an app called Airtel Asks (available on Android, coming soon on iOS). In an area with a very good coverage, Speedtest clocked around 50Mbps down/10MBps up.