The next Indian telecom war may officially be underway. While Reliance Jio has been whipping up frenzy by providing its users with free unlimited data and calling over the last few months, industry incumbents Airtel, Vodafone and Idea today formally launched their own unlimited data plans.
Currently it is possible to get 1GB data per day if you’re on these networks, but with terms and conditions applied. We decode what’s happening in this free data madness where 28 GB for the month at less than Rs 400 now seems the norm in prepaid.
Reliance Jio had announced recently that it would be starting its commercial operations from April. As a token of appreciation, the company announced Jio Prime subscription offer for its first 100 million customers for helping the company test its network.
Under the Jio Prime offer, Reliance Jio is continuing its unlimited data and calling schemes with a range of plans. These plans start from as low as Rs. 303 per month, with high speed 4G data up to 28GB and 128 Kbps data thereafter. Under this plan, you can use 1GB 4G data per day after which your speeds will be reduced to 128 Kbps. This plan includes unlimited calls – both voice and video.
Airtel today announced its own plan to take on Jio Prime subscription offers. Airtel unveiled a new Rs. 345 plan which offers 1GB 4G data per day but users will be able to use only 500MB during the day and the remaining 500MB can be used from 3 AM to 5 AM. Given that most users use their phones (and therefore, mobile data) in the day time, Airtel is essentially offering only 500MB 4G data per day.
The telco is also offering unlimited local and STD calls under this plan. Many users may not like this plan as not many users will be able to utilize the remaining data during the night.
Apart from the Rs. 345 plan, the company has also launched a Rs. 145 plan. In this plan, users will get free Airtel to Airtel calls – both local as well as STD. Users will get 2GB 4G data allowance. This is similar to what Reliance Jio is offering at Rs. 149 – however, you still get unlimited calls to any number in India on Jio Prime.
Note: Airtel’s offers are valid only till March 31st.
Vodafone has a similar offer where you can get 28GB data at Rs 342 or Rs 346, which are part of ‘Welcome Back Offers’. The deal: 10GB data, voice calls of up to 300 minutes per day for Rs 346. The other offer of Rs 342 has 28GB of data per month with FUP of 1GB per day. Additionally, every customer who recharges with these plans will be whitelisted, and can then continue with the same plan for the next 11 months.
Note: Vodafone has issued a clarification that the Rs. 346 plan is a “segmented offering” that is only valid up to March 15th.
Idea is providing users with 500MB of high-speed data with the Rs. 348 recharge pack, along with unlimited free calls; this totals to 14GB of data per month. Users are required to have a 4G handset (but not a 4G-enabled SIM) to avail this new offer from Idea. Not available as an open market recharge pack, the pack is aimed at low-data consumers and is offered to users by Idea executives. You can also check if you are eligible for the offer using the My Idea app.
Note that these plans may or may not be available in your telecom circle. At the moment, they are available only to select customers, so it may be prudent to check with your service provider before recharging.
|Reliance Jio Prime||Reliance Jio Prime||Airtel||Airtel||Vodafone||Idea Cellular|
|Price||Rs. 99 + Rs. 303||Rs. 99 + Rs. 303||Rs. 345||Rs. 549||Rs. 346||Rs. 348|
|Daily FUP||1GB||1GB||500MB Day + 500MB 12am to 6am||1GB||1GB||500MB|
|Validity||28 Days||1 Billing Cycle||28 Days||28 Days||28 Days||28 Days|