If you’re a 90’s Kid, you might be familiar with the word Hutch. Before Vodafone Group entered in India through its Netherlands-based subsidiary, acquiring the stakes of Hutchison Telecommunication International Ltd (HTIL) in Hutchison Essar Ltd (HEL), which is the joint venture held and operated telecom licenses in India. It was bought by the London-based British Telecommunication company, the Vodafone Group in 2007.
Almost a decade has passed since then; now Vodafone India is a fully acquired by Vodafone Group. Talking about the subscriber base of the telecom brand, which had around 140 million subscribers up until September 2014, is close to approaching the 200 Million subscribers. The original venture was started as a partnership between Hutchison Whampoa and Max Group in 1992. After two years, the company was awarded the license to operate in Mumbai (then Bombay) circle by the Department of Telecommunication (DoT).
Later in the coming years when the company expanded its availability in different circles like Kolkatta, Gujarat, Delhi, UP East and Haryana. For the most parts, it was the joint venture between the Essar Group and Hutchison Whampoa, which is when the HMTL was renamed as Hutchison Essar Limited (HEL) in the month of August, the year 2005. The company went for its IPO (Initial Public Offering) a year before that in 2004. At that time, they were providing services in 13 circles out of 23 circles in the country.
Hi there! 90’s Kids. Let’s experience some nostalgia, before we get into some serious business here. Hutch, which was often praised for its award-winning advertisements, one of the highlight was a 2003 advert by the company, which featured a pug named Cheeka. In that advertisement, the dog used to follow a boy around in unlikely places. The tagline stated was, “Wherever you go, our network follows”.
Let’s dive into the specifics of the Vodafone networks. Here you can learn everything about them.
Disclaimer: The plans that you see below are for our Home Circle, which is Andhra Pradesh & Telangana. So, it might be possible that rates are different in your circle. You can check the plans for your home circle on company’s official website.
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Well if you’re using a smartphone, it needs to support a certain set of bands that can pick up the frequency your network operator transmits for communication. That’s why supporting correct bands are important, because if that’s not the case, then you won’t be able to enjoy the service of your favorite network operator in the region. Every country has their set of bands, which they operate under. In 2G, India operates in 900 and 1800 MHz frequencies, while for 3G it uses 2100 MHz band. Talking about the 4G bands, it ranges from 850, 1800 and 2300 MHz. Note that the bands may vary according to the category type in 2G, 3G, and 4G.
Vodafone incorporates 2G facility under 900 MHz, while the 3G/UMTS network is under spread over 2100 MHz, 900 MHz, and 850 MHz. Whereas talking about the 4G/LTE, it is used under 1800 MHz and 850 MHz. In 2010, the company acquired 3G spectrum in 9 circles during the auction held by Department of Telecommunication (DoT). Just before the auction, the company reached a milestone of 100 million subscribers, later that year the 3G services were introduced in some circles, which was then started to expand next year phase wise. Coming to 2012, the company crossed 150 million subscribers base all over India. The same year company acquired additional 2G spectrum in 14 circles during the auction. Last year in December, the Telecom company introduced their 4G services on 1800 MHz Band, starting from Kochi. Currently, according to the company, they operate in 22 circles and service over 180 million subscribers.
A Prepaid SIM card allows you to make phone calls and send text messages only when you fill up the SIM card with some amount. Meaning you’d have to pay upfront and buy a recharge from the company, third-party apps or go to a telecom store.
Getting a Prepaid SIM card is easy, just head over to the nearest Vodafone store, which you can find from store locator (http://www.vodafone.in/help-support/store-locator) service on company’s official website. As per company records, they have 698 stores across in India, as well as 3838 Mini stores too. It puts company’s services accessible across India in around 5000 localities. Just enter your location, set the radius and click on Find Store. You should see a list as well as on a map. We recommend you open this store locator on a desktop rather than on your smartphone. Or can fill up the form online and get a call from a company official.
But do make a note that we won’t suggest you directly go to one of these stores without being prepared. There are some documents that you would need to take along in order to get a new Prepaid SIM card connection. Check out the prerequisites you would be asked at the store by Vodafone staff.
- Self-Attested Passport-Size Photograph.
- Photocopy of Photo Identity Approved by Government of India.
- Current Address Proof.
Below we have mentioned the list of Proof of Identity, which is valid for getting a new Prepaid SIM card connection. Any one item is sufficient from the below list.
- Income Tax PAN Card
- Photo Credit Card
- Voter ID Card
- Arm’s License
- Driving License
- Identity Card issued by Central / State Government
- Identity Card issued by Public Sector Undertakings
- Ration Card with your Photo
- Government College / University Identity Card
Now this can probably happen, that the identity proof you have out of above doesn’t have an Address Proof too. So, for you to prove that you’re residing in the place that you have put as your address, the company would need a Proof of Address as well. Below is the list of Address Proof that is valid and needs to be carried along when visiting the Vodafone Store. Note you just need to carry any one document out of the below list.
- 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
The Postpaid card allows you to use the services upfront, while you pay later at the end of the bill cycle. Vodafone offers RED and Flexi plans under postpaid schemes. The plans start from Rs 499 with monthly benefits for voice, data, and texts.
Getting a Postpaid connection is pretty easy and requires similar steps as for the Prepaid. You just have to ask for the Postpaid connection when you visit the Vodafone store. To know how to find the nearest Vodafone store and prerequisites you have to head above to the Prepaid section where we have explained instructions. The only difference would be here is that you would ask for a Postpaid connection instead of a Prepaid. You can browse the postpaid plans below.
Well, unlike JioNet, which has more than hundreds of Wi-Fi public Hotspots that are available for access in a single city, Vodafone has only 291 Wi-Fi Hotspots across India. Comparing it with Airtel who hasn’t disclosed the number because they might be marginally less. To find out the nearest Vodafone Wi-Fi Hotspots you’d have to visit their website, which has a maps interface to showcase the closest Hotspot. For instance, we wanted to find out how many such zones are present in Noida. Well, after entering the location and playing with radius, we found out there are only 2 Wi-Fi Zones in the city out of which 1 is present at a Mall, and another one is at a Vodafone Store. We learned that there are only 9 Mini Stores present in the city.
The company hasn’t specified whether they are free of charge and ask for mobile number verification via OTP. Or charge on the basis of minutes as Airtel does. So, it is unknown how to connect to these Wi-Fi Hotspots. As we are in Hyderabad, and there is not even a single Hotspot in the city that we could connect to know this since the company doesn’t list that information.
You might know that Mobile Number Portability became available in India in 2011, which allows users to switch your current mobile operator to another without getting into the hassle of changing the number. In this instance, if you want to switch from any other network to Vodafone all you have to do is create message PORT
Note that the UPC code is valid only for 15 days from the date of generation, during 30 days in few exceptions like J & K, North East & Assam Services Areas. The customer center will guide you with form filling. You should receive an empty SIM, which should be activated on the seventh working day, while fifteenth working day in case of exceptions mentioned above.
Well, if you’re asking this, either Vodafone seems to fail you, or you might just want to explore some options. It is possible you have already found it. So, you want to shift from Vodafone. It is easy to do so. Just follow below steps.
- Create a message, PORT
- Send it to 1900 and it’s done.
- You’ll receive a USC Code.
- Note it down. As it’s the key information for number portability.
In case if you have a corporate mobile number, you would have to take NOC (No Objection Certificate), which should be duly signed and stamped on company letterhead by the authorized signatory of the company.
Many telecom giants allow their existing Prepaid users to switch to Postpaid whenever they want. But note that they have to go through some procedure to get this done. On Vodafone, you can easily switch from a prepaid to postpaid connection, all you have to do is find the nearest Vodafone store and take the pre-requisites along with you. Or you could fill up the form online to get a call from the company executive, but they would tell you the same information.
Vodafone India recently launched a youth focused program that goes by name Vodafone U. This is introduced for existing Vodafone Prepaid customers as well as new Vodafone Prepaid users can also avail the offers but they will have different and limited plans. Under the Vodafone U scheme, you get reduced call rates, 3G/4G internet data cap, unlimited music, video content and many more items. Below you can see two images, first one is for existing Vodafone Prepaid users, while second image showcases the plans for new users.
Vodafone offers postpaid plans under it’s Vodafone RED services. You can avail Postpaid plans at the Vodafone Stores. See the available plans as mentioned in below images.
Below you can see the monthly Internet plans for Prepaid Vodafone users. Note that these recharges are valid for 3G as well as 4G users.
VAS, an acronym for Value Added Services, is a set of services offered by the Telecom operators apart from the messaging, calling and mobile internet. This name, Value Added Services, has been given by TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India), which is stated differently by different mobile telephony operators. Though, unlike Airtel, Vodafone doesn’t call it differently.
To Subscribe the Value Added Services on your Vodafone Number all you have to do is create an SMS, type START and send it to 321. You will receive a message stating the number of VAS service Vodafone provide and how to activate it through SMS. Note that after subscribing to any of the VAS services, if you don’t want to continue them for next cycle, then you can unsubscribe them. Read below to know that.
To Unsubscribe the Value Added Services on your Vodafone Number through SMS, you have to type STOP and send the message to 321. You should instantly receive a message from a company with a list of services that are activated on your device. Then, you can see the services you want to stop as the company would mention what SMS you need to send to stop the activated service. Note, you cannot unsubscribe to all the services at once. Individual text needs to be send in the format specified by Vodafone in the message.
Vodafone offers Mobile Wi-Fi Hotspot devices and Dongles, which could get you online quickly and easily. Moreover, you don’t have to worry about draining the battery life of your device as you won’t have to use the mobile data on your handset if you have the dongle or MiFi device. Purchasing them is easy, just head over to the nearest Vodafone store. But before you head over, we would like to empower you with some knowledge of these devices.
The basic difference between the Dongle and Mobile Hotspot device is the USB connectivity requirement. For dongles to work, you need them to be plugged into a USB port as they don’t’ have an in-built battery for getting a power supply. While the Mobile Hotspot devices, on the other hand, have in-built connectivity. So, it depends on your usage, whether you’ll need to access the internet on both; laptop and smartphone or just laptop. If your answer is later, then go with dongles, otherwise, you need to get a Mobile hotspot device.
At Vodafone store you may ask the staff for a 4G enabled Mobile Wi-Fi or a Dongle, as well as 3G, enabled Mobile Wi-Fi or 3G Dongle. There are four devices in total that offer internet connectivity on-the-go. The 4G Hotspot can be purchased at Rs 2399, while the 4G dongle is priced at Rs 1500. While it’s the same pricing model for 3G hotspot and dongles as well, which is surprising considering they’ll offer lower internet speeds.
It looks like you are not able to access the internet on your Vodafone SIM enabled smartphone. Well, it’s quite obvious that your device lacks the internet settings. Sometimes it happens when a user switch to a new handset or even adds a new SIM card on their handset; the provider didn’t automatically configure the internet settings on the device by prompting the user to ask. If you’re here to know the APN details for the Vodafone India network SIM, well, you’re on a right track.
Before we get started and guide you how you can add the APN details on your smartphone. You need to know that different handsets have different types of settings. If you’re using an Android smartphone, well, you need to follow different instructions compared to the iPhones.
For Android smartphones
- Turn ON the Mobile data in your device from notification panel or Settings.
- Go to Wireless & Networks section in the Settings app.
- Find Mobile Networks/Cellular Networks. Note in some Android devices you need a tap on More options to find the Mobile Networks.
- Tap on Mobile Networks; Select the Access Point Names option. There would be two separate settings page in a tabbed manner if you have dual SIM supported smartphone.
- Select the Vodafone network enabled SIM slot.
- Now you should be inside the APN menu. Where you may need to tap on ADD button if you’re setting it for the first time.
- Fill up the details you see below for configuring the internet settings.
Table 1.1 APN details for Android Smartphones
For iOS – iPhone, iPad
The instructions you see below are for Setting up the APN on iOS devices. It can be iPad or iPhone, or for both.
- Launch the Settings app.
- Head over to the General option
- Tap on the Cellular Network
- Select the ADD option
- Enter the details below you see in the table to configure internet settings.
Table 1.2 APN Settings for iOS devices