Reliance Jio's entry has upended the Indian telecom sector, with market leaders Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular bearing the brunt. All the incumbent telcos are in a race to compete with Jio's free calls, data and other services in a bid to retain their customers. And just when it seemed that Reliance Jio's free services would finally come to an end on March 31, the new operator threw a lifeline to its customers in the form of Jio Prime subscription plans. The Jio Prime plans provide all the free calls, data and other services at rates as low as Rs. 10 per day.
Of course, it came as no surprise to anyone when Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and BSNL launched their own prepaid and postpaid plans to combat the Jio Prime threat. But for the consumer, this creates a confusing market environment, with too options to choose from. We break down what the best prepaid and postpaid data plans by the four telecom operators offer, including the fine print.
Reliance Jio is providing to Jio Prime customers 28GB of 4G data with the Rs. 303 prepaid recharge pack, which has 28-day validity; Jio Prime postpaid users get 30GB of high-speed data for the billing cycle at the same price. Under this plan, customers who subscribe to the Rs. 99 Jio Prime plan will be able to use 1GB of 4G data per day, and make unlimited free calls.
For those who find 1GB data insufficient, there’s the Rs. 499 Jio Prime recharge pack, which provides 56GB data to prepaid users, with daily cap of 2GB. Postpaid customers get 60GB of 4G data for the billing cycle, with the FUP set at 2GB per day.
Airtel is providing the Rs. 345 recharge pack that provides prepaid users with 28GB of high-speed data for 28 days. While the daily FUP is set at 1GB, customers will be able to use only 500MB of data during the day, while the remaining 500MB allotted for the 12am to 6am period. Those who want to skip the restriction of timings can opt for the Rs. 549 recharge pack, which comes with 1GB daily FUP, but no limits based on timings.
The Rs. 345 and Rs. 549 recharge packs come with free calls, but with several caveats. Those who make calls beyond the 1,200 bundled minutes will be charged at 30p per minute (for local and STD calls). Moreover, Airtel has capped the free calls per day at 300 minutes, after which the charges will be 30p per minute. Additionally, calling more than 100 unique users in a week entails call tariff of 30p per minute for the rest of the validity.
For postpaid customers, Airtel is providing 30GB of free data to customers starting March 13 for a period of three months. The Airtel postpaid users will get 10GB of data per month under this plan, with no daily limits on data consumption. To claim this offer, customers need to go to the MyAirtel app; the data is credited soon after you claim the 'Airtel Surprise'. Users have until March 31 to claim the free 30GB data.
Vodafone has reportedly launched the Rs. 346 recharge pack that comes with 28GB of mobile data and unlimited free calls. Like rivals, Vodafone is also putting a cap of 1GB on free data consumption, after which the consumer will be charged. In an official statement, Vodafone said, “Vodafone customers are diverse as are their wants. To satisfy these diverse needs and wants, Vodafone offers various segmented propositions. This is one such segmented offering and the offer is valid only till 15 March.”
BSNL has launched a special tariff voucher, priced at Rs. 339, that comes with 2GB of data per day for 28 days. Along with the bundled data, the recharge pack provides unlimited calls on the BSNL network, and 25 minutes of free calls per day to other networks; calls beyond the free 25 free minutes are charged at 25p per minute.
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.
|Reliance Jio Prime||Reliance Jio Prime||Airtel||Airtel||Vodafone||BSNL||Idea Cellular|
|Price||Rs. 99 + Rs. 303||Rs. 99 + Rs. 303||Rs. 345||Rs. 549||Rs. 346||Rs. 339||Rs. 348|
|Daily FUP||1GB||1GB||500MB Day + 500MB 12am to 6am||1GB||1GB||2GB||500MB|
|Validity||28 Days||1 Billing Cycle||28 Days||28 Days||28 Days||28 Days||28 Days|