Vodafone India (previously known as Hutch), the 3rd biggest mobile network operator in India, is headquartered in Mumbai. Vodafone is a part of the Vodafone Group and started mobile services in India in 1994, and now has mobile services throughout India with and has close to 152 million subscribers in the subcontinent. It started offering 3G mobile services in India in the first quarter of 2011 and has made huge investments in expanding its 3G network in the country.
In May 2010, Vodafone was allocated 3G mobile spectrum in 10 telecom circles in India including Kolkata, Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh, Delhi, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Haryana, Goa, Tamil Nadu and West Bengal. Vodafone also provides 3G mobile in Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh and Kerala, through a pact with Idea Cellular and in Karnataka through a joint venture with Airtel, bringing the total number of telecom circles in which Vodafone operates to 13.
Vodafone is the 5th private mobile service provider to start offering 3G services in India (the others are Airtel, Aircel, Tata Docomo and Reliance Communication) and has over 150 million subscribers and has close to 24% market share of the Indian mobile market.
Vodafone recently reduced 2G charges by around 80 per cent, from 10 to 2 paisa per 10KB — in Chhattisgarh, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh and Uttar Pradesh telecom circles Vodafone has plans to expand the new rates to other circles in India. This move was made essentially to increase the adoption of mobile internet and make it more affordable. The reduced 2G internet rates apply to both 2G prepaid and 2G postpaid customers using mobile internet in a ‘pay as you go’ mode.
The Per Second prepaid mobile plan, costs INR 506 gives a lot of flexibility to cost conscious subscribers, since billing is based on a per second basis. However, for heavy mobile users, the per minute plan will be more economical since on a minute-to-minute basis, the per second plan works out to be costlier than the per second plan, if the call duration is longer. Under the per second prepaid plan, Vodafone network local and long distance STD calls, non-Vodafone network calls and fixed landline call cost 1 paisa per second. SMS will be charged ar INR 1 per text message to local numbers, INR 1.5 per SMS to national numbers, and INR 5 per text message to international numbers.
Heavy Mobile users can go in for the Vodafone Per Minute Plan costing INR 507. This package gives cheaper per-minute charges of 40 paisa for local Vodafone calls and 50 paisa for all non Vodafone local and long distance STD calls. Texting will be charged at INR 1 per SMS to local numbers, INR 1.5 per text message to national numbers, and INR 5 per SMS to international numbers.
3G internet users can get online using the various Vodafone prepaid recharge mobile internet plans of INR 102 (which gives 100MB of data ), INR 375 (giving 500MB of data), INR 850 (a whopping 3 GB), or INR1250 (the top line plan with 5GB data limit). Users can also choose mobile internet and calling prepaid services that come bundled with the INR 500 or INR 1000 prepaid plans. The INR 500 plan comes with 500MB data limit, 500 minutes local and long distance STD calls, and 500 local and national SMS. INR 1000 plan gives mobile subscribers 1GB data, 1000 minutes of local and STD talktime, and 1000 local and national text messages. Vodafone data card recharge plans come with a 30 day validity limit, and after expiry of the validity, 2 paisa per KB data charges are applicable.