Ever since the inception of Reliance Jio and its introduction of mammoth data offerings and unlimited voice calling benefits, telecom operators have been in a scurry trying to match their offerings with Jio, and to compete better with the telco's ambitious pricing strategies. Airtel was also the largest subscriber base holder in India until very recently, and it lost the pole position thanks to the merger of Vodafone and Idea. The new joint entity, named Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), now leads the telecom industry in terms of both subscribers and revenue. In order to stay relevant in the competitive Indian market, Airtel has launched and tweaked a host of its prepaid and postpaid offerings, to better compete with Jio, Vodafone, and others.
We take a look at Airtel's recently launched and revised recharges in the past three months to help subscribers make an informed decision on which plan suits them best.
Airtel Rs. 97 combo recharge pack
In September, Airtel launched the Rs. 97 prepaid combo recharge pack for its subscribers. This new plan offers 350 minutes of local, STD, and roaming voice calls. Besides the voice calling benefits, subscribers will also get 1.5GB of 3G/ 4G data and 200 local and STD SMS messages. Notably, the validity period of the plan is 28 days. Subscribers can avail the plan by visiting the official Airtel website or through the My Airtel app. Notably, the new Airtel Rs. 97 recharge plan is available across India.
Airtel Rs. 99 recharge pack
Earlier in June this year, Airtel revised its Rs. 99 recharge to offer 2GB of data across 28 days of validity. Last month, the company reportedly increased the pricing of this pack to Rs. 119 for its prepaid users. This Rs. 119 pack is said to have been launched in a segmented manner, which means that some users get the 2GB benefit for 28 days, while some get 1GB data benefits for 14 days. Airtel hasn't delisted the Rs. 99 pack, but that plan has been revised to offer 1GB of data only with a validity of 10 days. Earlier, it used to offer 2GB data for a validity of 28 days in a segmented format, similar to what the Rs. 119 pack now offers.
The Rs. 119 prepaid recharge offers select users 2GB of data, unlimited voice calls, 300 SMS messages for a validity of 28 days. Other users are said to see benefits like 1GB data, unlimited voice calls, and 300 SMSes for a validity of 14 days. The Rs. 99, on the other hand now offers 1GB data, unlimited voice calling, and 300 SMS messages for 10 days validity to all users in an open market manner.
Airtel Rs. 35, Rs. 65, Rs. 95, Rs. 145, Rs. 245 combo recharge packs
In September, Airtel first launched new combo packs - priced at Rs. 35, Rs. 65, and Rs. 95 - for Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and UP (West) circles only. The Airtel Rs. 35 prepaid combo recharge offers 100MB of 3G/ 4G data, talk time of Rs. 26.66, with tariff for local and STD calls at 1p/sec, and a validity period of 28 days. The Airtel Rs. 65 prepaid combo recharge pack offers 200MB data, talk time of Rs. 65, and 28 days validity. Lastly, the Airtel Rs. 95 combo recharge offers 500MB of 3G/ 4G data, talk time of Rs. 95 (tariff of local and STD calls at 1p/2secs), and a validity of 28 days.
Later that same month, Airtel revised these packs, and introduced three new combo packs in the same Punjab, Tamil Nadu, and UP (West) circles only. The new smart recharges come in denominations of Rs. 25, Rs. 35, Rs. 65, Rs. 95, Rs. 145 and Rs. 245. The Rs. 25 recharge offers Rs. 18.69 talk time and 10MB data for a validity of 28 days. The Rs. 35, 65, and 95 recharges offer all the same benefits, but voice calls got a discount s at 60 paise per minute for Rs. 35 and Rs. 65 pack, and 30 paise per minute for the Rs .95 pack respectively. The Airtel Rs. 145 Smart Recharge offers full talk time, 1GB data, and discounts voice calls to 30 paise per minute for a validity of 28 days. Lastly, the Rs. 245 Airtel recharge offers full talk time, 2GB data, and discounts voice call to 30 paise per minute for a validity of 84 days.
And last month, Airtel introduced all of these packs in the Mumbai circle as well, but removed the Rs. 25 pack from the list. Therefore, the Rs. 35, Rs. 65, Rs. 95, Rs. 145, and Rs. 245 packs were introduced with almost similar benefits. For customers looking for 28-day validity, the telco offers the Rs. 35 recharge pack with Rs. 26.5 of talk time and 100MB of data, Rs. 65 pack with Rs. 55 of talk time and 200MB of data, and Rs. 95 pack with Rs. 95 talk time and 500MB of data. The Rs. 145 and Rs. 245 packs offer identical benefits as other circles.
Airtel Rs. 159 recharge pack
In October, Airtel introduced the Rs. 159 recharge pack across India and it offers unlimited voice calling benefits to its subscribers. Additionally, the plan comes with 1GB of 3G/ 4G data and 100 SMS messages for the entire validity period of 21 days. Apparently, this pack is offering different data benefits in different circles - in some it also offers 1GB data per day.
Airtel Rs. 168 recharge pack
Airtel also has revised its Rs. 168 prepaid pack for select subscribers in the Delhi and Andhra Pradesh & Telangana telecom circles. The revised Rs. 168 Airtel recharge now offers 1GB of 2G/ 3G/ 4G data per day, 100 SMS messages per day, and unlimited voice calls (local, STD, and roaming). Validity of the pack is 28 days, giving the user total data benefits of up to 28GB. Airtel is also offering free subscription to its Hello Tunes caller tune service that will be applicable only for the validity period. In other circles, the packs offers a total of 1GB 2G/ 3G/ 4G data, 100 SMS messages per day, unlimited voice calling, and free subscription to Hello Tunes with a validity of 20 days.
Airtel Rs. 178, Rs. 229, Rs. 344, Rs. 495, and Rs. 559 recharge packs
In order to rake in more subscribers, Airtel introduced five First Recharge (FRC) prepaid plans that range from Rs. 178 to Rs. 559. The Rs. 178 Airtel recharge for first-time users offers 1GB of 3G/4G data per day, unlimited local, STD and roaming outgoing calls, and 100 SMS per day, for a validity of 28 days.. The Airtel FRC 229 offers 1.4GB data per day, unlimited voice calling even in national roaming, and 100 SMS per day for a validity of 28 days. Similarly, the Airtel FRC 344 plan offers 2GB data benefit per day, unlimited local, STD and roaming outgoing calls, and 100 SMS per day, for a validity of 28 days. And lastly, the Airtel FRC 495 and FRC 559 plans offer 1.4GB data benefit per day, unlimited local, STD and national roaming outgoing calls, and 100 SMS per day. The validities for the two recharges are 84 days and 90 days, respectively.
Airtel Rs. 181 recharge pack
Early last month, Airtel also launched the new Rs. 181 recharge in select circles only. It comes with 3GB of 2G/ 3G/ 4G data per day, unlimited voice calls (local, STD, and roaming), and 100 SMS messages per day, with a validity of 14 days. This brings the total data benefits to 42GB, and the per GB cost down to about Rs. 4.3. This becomes one of the cheapest prepaid packs in the market to offer 3GB of data per day.
Airtel Rs. 195 recharge pack
Late September, Airtel unveiled its Rs. 195 recharge pack that comes with 1.25GB daily 2G/ 3G/ 4G data, unlimited voice calls, and no SMS benefits. Validity of this new Airtel pack is 28 days, and it seems to be limited to a few telecom circles including Andhra Pradesh & Telangana circle.
Airtel Rs. 289 recharge pack
Airtel first released the Rs. 289 pack in September and offered unlimited voice calls (local, STD, and roaming), 100 SMS messages per day, and a total of 1GB data for 48 days. However, this pack was revised last month, and it now offers a total of 4GB 2G/ 3G/ 4G data alongside an extended validity of 84 days. However, this revised plan is applicable in Kolkata circle only, and Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, Karnataka, and Kerala circles still offer 48 days validity only.
Airtel Rs. 398 recharge pack
Airtel recently also rolled out the Rs. 398 pack that offers 1.5GB of 3G/ 4G data along with unlimited voice calling benefits (local, STD, national roaming) to its subscribers. Additionally, the plan comes with 90 SMS messages (local, STD) per day during the period. The validity period of the new recharge plan is 70 days. It is worth noting that the voice calling benefits offered by Airtel does not come with daily or weekly FUP limits. The plan has launched in an open market manner across India.
Airtel Rs. 419 recharge pack
Two months ago, Airtel also launched the Rs. 419 pack and offers 1.4GB data per day and validity of 75 days. It comes with bundled local and STD calls capped at 300 minutes per day and 1,000 minutes per week. Subscribers will also get free calls on national roaming and 100 SMS messages per day with this recharge. Access to the Airtel TV app is also provided with the pack.
Airtel 'Foreign Pass' international roaming voice packs
Airtel, in August, also launched affordable international roaming voice packs for its prepaid customers in India. Called 'Foreign Pass', the international roaming voice packs are starting at as low as Rs. 196 and are valid for 20 countries around the globe. Prepaid subscribers on Airtel network can opt for the Foreign Pass starting at Rs. 196 for 20 minutes of voice calling, followed by Rs. 296 for 40 minutes and Rs. 446 for 75 minutes. The Rs. 196 international roaming voice calling pack is valid for seven days, while the Rs. 296 pack is valid for 30 days and the Rs. 446 pack comes with a validity of 90 days. The packs importantly don't include any SMS messages and data bundles. The fresh international roaming voice calling packs are available to Airtel prepaid subscribers in 20 countries, including UAE, Nepal, Bangladesh, Saudi Arabia, USA, Qatar, Kuwait, Malaysia, Singapore, United Kingdom, Sri Lanka, Bahrain, China, Canada, Germany, Australia, Hong Kong, France, Netherlands, and Thailand.
Airtel gives prepaid subscribers free Amazon Pay digital gift card
As part of its 23rd anniversary celebrations, Airtel announced a partnership with Amazon Pay to offer guaranteed cashback to its prepaid and postpaid customers. As part of the deal, Airtel customers availing a bundled prepaid recharge of Rs. 100 and above, or the ones upgrading to any Infinity postpaid plan will be eligible to avail an Amazon Pay digital gift card worth Rs. 51. This gift card can be loaded as Amazon Pay balance and subsequently be used for shopping on Amazon.in, recharges, bill payments, and more. To avail this digital gift card, Airtel subscribers need to head over to the My Airtel app, and locate the "Airtel Thanks" banner within the app. Click on the banner to activate the gift card. The recharge, which makes the user eligible for the gift card, can be done using the app, online portals like Amazon.in and Paytm, or by visiting an offline retailer or Airtel store.