Bharti Airtel – Everything You Wanted to Know

by Vishal Toshiwal 0

When a company has contributed years of time in offering a service in any specific field, we feel they should be the leader in that field. Bharti Airtel is one such company that has changed the way India communicates over mobile devices since its inception two decades ago in 1995 as public limited company. This Indian telecomm giant has been around for long time and for most of its services, the company is known to be reliable.

Founded by Sunil Bharti Mittal, who serves as Chairman and Managing Director of the BSE and NSE listed Telecommunication Company. Before the inception of AirTel brand in 1995, the company was known for manufacturing electronic push button phones in 1984. While moving forward in early 1990s it started making fax machines, cordless phones and various telecom gears. If you didn’t know those push-button phones were named Mitbrau.

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The Bharti Airtel has around 357 Million subscribers spreading across its wide range of services in GSM mobile, Tele media and Digital TV Services. It has staggering 250 Million plus subscribers in mobile, which makes it the largest mobile network operator in India and third largest in the world. With their 4G LTE network implementation and growing every day, the company is on its way to offer its services to Millions of new customers.

To those customers who will or want to join, or are already an existing customer of Bharti Airtel. We have written an extensive guide for you where you can get answers to everything about your network, which is Airtel in this case.

Disclaimer: Note the prepaid & postpaid tariff you see might be different in your home circle. We have used Andhra Pradesh & Telangana Circle to define the standard plans. Though, it might be just slight change, which you can check on company’s official website or call their customer care number.

Table of Contents



Frequencies

If you didn’t knew, mobile telephony is done on a certain set of frequencies and those set of electronic spectrum needs to be licensed in order to provide mobile telephony services over the air. Department of Telecommunication handles all this allotment, which is done in auctions held every year. The most popular frequencies are 900 MHz, 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz.

Started with 900 MHz, the company was renewed its 2G spectrum in all six circles with which they started their operations. As well as have recently purchased license for 2G services in various new key leadership circles. It recently added 1800 MHz spectrum in six circles including Punjab, Andhra Pradesh, Kolkata, Orissa, Haryana and North East circles. While in 2014, company won the auction for operating 1800 MHz spectrum in 15 circles. As the defacto spectrum for its LTE services, company has chosen 1800 MHz.

What is a Prepaid SIM Card

A Prepaid SIM card is where you choose to pay upfront, which means you would have to first pay the money and get balance on your SIM card. Then, only you would be able to make phone calls.

How to Get a Prepaid SIM Card

To get a Prepaid SIM card of Airtel, first, you would have to find the store locator. Visit this link to Airtel’s official website on your desktop. There you can browse the nearest Airtel Store to get the new SIM card for your device. Note you would have to select the Airtel relationship centers instead of airtel money outlets in the checkbox, Show Me. Once you select state, city and address, you’ll see the nearest Airtel Express stores in your area in the maps integrated on the website. You can get the directions to the store from your area. Note that you can also enter the Pincode and get the results, without the hassle of entering the address.

Though, before heading to any of these Airtel stores, we would recommend you to get the prerequisite with you as it would be easier for you to get a new Prepaid SIM card.

Prerequisite:

  • Self Attested Passport-Size Photograph.
  • Xerox copy of Photo Identity Approved by Government of India.
  • Proof of Address/Residence in India.

Below is the list of Proof of Identity that is valid for getting a new Prepaid SIM connection.

  • Income Tax PAN Card
  • Photo Credit Card
  • Voter ID Card
  • Passport
  • Arm’s Licence
  • Driving Licence
  • Identity Card issued by Central / State Government
  • Identity Card issued by Public Sector Undertakings
  • Ration Card with your Photo
  • Government College / University Identity Card

Note in case the Identity proof doesn’t contain your address. Then, you would have to make sure to get an Address Proof along with you stating your current living residence. Below is the list of valid Proof of Address that you need to carry along with you when visiting the Airtel store.

  • Electricity Bill of State company (not older than last 3 months)
  • Telephone Bill of Fixed Line (not older than last 3 months)
  • Water Bill (not older than last 3 months)
  • Ration card
  • Income Tax Assessment Order (not Older than one year)
  • Vehicle Registration Certificate (RC)
  • Registered Sale/Lease (Rent) Agreement

What is a Postpaid SIM Card

A Postpaid SIM card is where you choose to pay a bill after your monthly usage. You can select the plan from the available list and once you have done that you shall receive the bill at the end of the monthly cycle.

How to Get a Postpaid SIM Card

To get a Postpaid SIM card you would have to follow the same procedure that one would do for getting Prepaid SIM card. You can head above to check for the detailed procedure as I’ll be brief here. Find nearest Airtel Store and take all the required documents along with you. As I have mentioned, to know in detailed follow the detailed procedure mentioned in How to get a prepaid SIM card. The only difference would be that you have to specifically mention to the Airtel staff that you want an Airtel Postpaid SIM card.

What Cities have Airtel Public Wi-Fi Hotspots in India?

Airtel offers Wi-Fi hangout zones in some selected cities in the country. As of now, the Wi-Fi hangout zones are available in four cities across India, which includes NCR, Mumbai, Bangalore, and Mangalore. These Airtel Wi-Fi Zones offers you broadband connectivity outside your home. You can find them at your favorite cafes, restaurant or local hangout places with a promise of a guaranteed secure and reliable connection on your laptop or handheld device.

Though, note that they are not free unlike Reliance Jio Net or Tata Docomo Wi-Fi at Airports. You will be charged and can select from the plans according to a number of minutes. Below is the table for that.

PlansPrice Wi-Fi Duration
Wi-Fi 20Rs 2030 Minutes
Wi-Fi 30Rs 3060 Minutes
Wi-Fi 50Rs 50120 Minutes

Table 1.1 Wi-Fi Plans at Airtel Wi-Fi Zones

How to Connect to the Airtel Wi-Fi Zone?

You are at Airtel Wi-Fi Zone and looking to connect for internet usage on your smartphone or laptop. Then, you should follow the below instructions.

Connect on Smartphones:

  • Launch the Settings app.
  • Tap on Wi-Fi under Wireless & Networks and enable it, if it wasn’t.
  • Select the Airtel Wi-Fi Zone in the list of SSID you see.
  • Now it should automatically open a page to ask for an activating voucher.
  • Select the plan you want, pay and you shall receive an OTP to connect.
  • Note that you should keep the logged in window open. The internet usage will last up to the minutes you have purchased.

Connect on Laptop:

  • Launch the Network Settings
  • Enable the Wi-Fi if it wasn’t.
  • You will see a list of nearby Wi-Fi hotspots.
  • Select the Airtel Wi-Fi Zone SSID.
  • You should be redirected to activate a voucher.
  • Once the Wi-Fi plan is selected, and payment is made. You shall receive credentials to login.
  • After logging in make sure the window is opened as the access will be revoked once you close the window or either Wi-Fi.

How to Port your Mobile Number to Airtel

You might be aware that since 2011, Department of Telecommunication has allowed any mobile network customer to port to any of their favourite operator within the circle, without even changing the mobile number. In this case, if you want to port your number to the Bharti Airtel, well, all you got to do is first create a text message stating, PORT Mobile Number. Then, you have to send this SMS to 1900. You should receive an instant message from the mobile operator with your USC code. It is crucial information required to share with a new operator with which you want to port our mobile number. Further, you have to fill up a separate application form at the Airtel store and mention the USC code in it. Don’t forget to take along the prerequisite documents with you when you visit the Store.

How to Port your Mobile Number from Airtel

If you are searching for this query, well, then Airtel is in trouble or either you are just exploring your option. To port from your Airtel mobile number to any other service you would have to first obtain the USC code, which is done by sending a text, PORT Mobile Number to 1900. Make sure you note down that code as it is vital information and would be asked by the company staff. Note that if you’re a corporate customer, then you would have to get an NOC (No Objection Certificate) which should be duly signed by authorized personnel on company’s letterhead.

Prepaid Voice Call tariffs for Local, STD and ISD

In below image you can see the call charges for local, STD & ISD.

Airtel - Prepaid Voice Call Charges

Postpaid Voice Call tariffs

Sorry! You have to see the image posted on for prepaid voice calls, as postpaid and prepaid call charges are similar if you have a standard plans. While if you have a fancy plan like Infinity, then go down to check out the plans for that.

What are Airtel Infinity Plans

Airtel offers certain set of data, voice and premium subscription to their Wynk Plus apps, i.e. Music, Movies and On-demand. You can select these infinity plans despite the nature of your SIM type, whether it is a postpaid or prepaid connection, it doesn’t matter. Browse the Infinity plans for your Airtel SIM card below in the image.

Airtel Infinity Plans

Prepaid Internet Data Plans for 3G/4G/LTE

Below image of a table shows the data plans that are available for Airtel 3G/4G Prepaid Subscribers.

Airtel - Prepaid Data Plans

Postpaid Internet Data Plans for 3G/4G/LTE

See the image to know in details about the Internet Data plans for Airtel Postpaid 3G/4G consumers.

Airtel - Postpaid Data Plans

What are the Prepaid Unlimited plans for Airtel

Below you can see the unlimited prepaid plans for the Airtel SIM cards. You can select any plans from below as per your needs. Here you can see that you’ll get certain amount of services like calls, SMS, Wynk Music/Movies, roaming, etc. for unlimited. You can easily understand what is available for the selected plans as it is denoted by their icons.

Airtel - Prepaid Unlimited Plans

What are the Postpaid Unlimited plans for Airtel

First of all what is unlimited plans, well, Airtel consumers with 4G SIM cards can avail any of the below plans to enjoy the unlimited calls, SMS, music/movies on Wynk, roaming,etc. Though, unfortunately you get limited data usage. So, you can select the postpaid plans of your choice and subscribe to it at nearest Airtel store. See the plans below.

Airtel - Postpaid Unlimited Plans

What are the Value Added Services available on Airtel

Value Added Services, acronym as VAS is a list of service apart from messaging, calling and browsing the internet. That’s why they are called Value Added Services. The VAS has been defined by the TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), while many companies like to address them differently. Airtel calls it a Start-Stop service, which is basically a service to activate or deactivate any of the value added services.

Hello Tunes is one such VAS service. It is a caller tunes service from Airtel. Whenever anybody calls on an Airtel mobile number with activated Hello Tunes service, they’ll hear a song, tune per say. The user can set their favorite songs as the Hello Tunes. Note that they can be set for dedicated people as well. You will be charged Rs 30 per month. To change from the selected song, you would be charged Rs 15. Dial *121# from your mobile number and head over to Other Services, then to Start/Stop Service menu. Below is the list of service that you will find when you dial, *121# from your Airtel Mobile Number.

  • Ramanyan Quiz
  • StarSport Cricket
  • Night Music
  • Free Coffee@CCD
  • Music
  • Horoscope
  • Khojo Aur Jaano
  • Search
  • Job Search
  • Live Arti
  • Emergency Alert
  • TV on

Activate Value Added Services on Airtel

To subscribe to the VAS, the Value Added Services on Airtel mobile number you would have to type a message START and send to 121, which is a toll-free number. You will get revert from Airtel about the services that are not yet activated on your number. In this SMS, you should see a list of service followed by the CODE you need to SMS to 121 in order to get the respective service activated. Note that most of the services are activated instantly, while some might take time. Airtel should notify you about that through SMS when it is activated in couple hours.

Deactivate Value Added Services on Airtel

If you are looking to unsubscribe from a Value Added Service on your Airtel mobile number, then you would have to send STOP to 121. Since this is a toll-free number, you won’t be charged for sending the message and unsubscribing. Once you send this SMS, you would get revert from Airtel with a list of services activated on your number. There will be Codes to deactivate them all individually. Most of them should be unsubscribed instantly while for some you’ll receive a notification from Airtel alerting you that the subscription has been stopped.

MIFI (Mobile Hotspot) Facility & Features

Airtel offers two devices through which you can access the internet. They are Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot and Dongle. While 4G Hotspot will cost you Rs 2300 against the Rs 6000 MRP, the 4G Dongle can be purchased for Rs 1500 against the Rs 3000 price point. The main difference between the Hotspot device and dongle is that you don’t necessarily need USB port to use 4G Hotspot. Since, it has in built battery life, which can last up to six hours. Also you could connect up to 10 devices on the 4G Hotspot. The 4G Dongle is simply a plug and play stick, which is independent of the operating system. Apart from offering 4G connectivity, you could also store data on the stick utilizing the MicroSD card slot on dongle. Note up to 32GB of microSD card is supported on this dongle. Company claims that it can offer download speed of up to 68 Mbps.

You would have to check the availability of services in your city. These devices can be used under prepaid and postpaid plan. You can directly shop it online or from an Airtel store.

APN Details

For a working internet on your smartphone you need to configure APN settings. When you’re accessing internet connection via Wi-Fi or any hotspot, you don’t need to worry about these settings. In fact, these days you don’t need to worry about them at all as many operators are tend to automatically send the internet settings once you insert the SIM card on your device. Usually, you don’t need to configure using 2G, EDGE, 3G, or even 4G Internet on your smartphone. Now that you are here, it must means you are not able to access internet despite having data pack enabled on your SIM card. Well, you’re at the right place. Follow the below instructions to configure APN settings on your respective smartphones, which allows the carrier to assign an IP Address to your device. Thus, allowing to access internet. There are separate instructions for Android and iOS devices.

For Android smartphones

  • You have to follow the below instructions to set APN for Bharti Airtel SIM on your smartphone.
  • Open the Settings app on your device.
  • Go to Wireless & Networks section in the Settings app.
  • Find Mobile Networks/Cellular Networks, as specified on your device. Note for some devices, you would have to tap on More option to find Mobile Networks.
  • When you tap on Mobile Network, a list of options will open, you have to Select Access Point Names. If there are dual SIM slot supports on your device, then you’ll see two separate settings in a tabbed manner.
  • Select the SIM slot with Airtel SIM on it.
  • Now tap on APN menu and if you’re configuring it for the first time, then you would have to tap on ADD button.
  • Fill up the configuration as you see below.

NameAirtel
APNairtelgprs.com
Proxy[Not Set]
Username[Not Set]
Password[Not Set]
Server[Not Set]
MMSC[Not Set]
MMS Proxy[Not Set]
MMS Port[Not Set]
MCC404
MNC49
Authentication Type [Not Set]
APN Typedefault,supl
APN Protocol[Not Set]
APN Enable/Disable[Not Set]

Table 1.2 APN details for Android Smartphones

For iOS – iPhone, iPad

  • The below instructions are for settings up APN on iOS devices, may it be iPad or iPhone, or both.
  • Open the Settings app
  • Scroll to the General option and tap on Network.
  • Select the ADD option in the list.
  • Now you have to enter the APN details.

APNairtelgprs.com
UsernameBlank
PasswordBlank

Table 1.3 APN Settings for iOS devices

Vishal Toshiwal

Born in West India, raised in the North and currently chasing dreams in the southern part of India- Vishal is an entrepreneurial spirit, a tech enthusiast and a writer by profession, who is busy taking pictures when he is not writing. He would love to talk to you about the latest movies, TV shows and DC/Marvel comics. As a personal rule, he doesn't let a day get by without at least one dessert. Because, why not?

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