Jio, the newest operator in the Indian telecom scene, continues to maintain its position as the top telecom operator in India in terms of affordability of data consumption. Incumbents have been coming up with plans and offers to match Jio's prices and bundled data. However, state-run Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) now seems to target a different set of subscribers, "those having daily income especially in rural, Tier II and Tier III cities." BSNL has launched two new weekly and daily recharge plans worth Rs. 29 and Rs. 9 respectively. These plans offer unlimited data and voice calls and will take on similar offers from Jio, Airtel, Vodafone, and other incumbents. For smartphone users, a Rs. 52 Jio recharge is offered with similar benefits, while Jio Phone users have the Rs. 49 recharge. Notably, BSNL has announced the new plans as a part of its Freedom Offer ahead of India's Independence Day.
Under the BSNL Rs. 29 recharge, the telco is offering unlimited voice calling benefits to any network (except Delhi and Mumbai), unlimited data, 100 SMS messages per day, and free PRBT (Personalised Ringback Tone). While there is no limit on the voice calls, BSNL's prepaid plan worth Rs. 29 comes with a FUP limit of 2GB data per day, following which the speed will drop to 80Kbps. Since it is a 'weekly pack', the validity period of the plan is 7 days. It is worth noting that the new offer will be valid from August 10 to August 25. BSNL subscribers who buy the plan after the date, will continue to get the same benefits except the will get only 1GB of data and 300 SMS messages for the validity period.
Coming to the BSNL Rs. 9 recharge, the company is offering the similar benefits as that of the Rs. 29 recharge, expect it comes with a validity period of one day. The daily recharge plan comes with unlimited voice calling benefits to any network (except Delhi and Mumbai), unlimited data, and 100 SMS messages per day. While there is no limit on the voice calls, BSNL's prepaid plan worth Rs. 9 comes with a FUP limit of 2GB, following which the speed will drop to 80 Kbps. This plan is also valid from August 10 to August 25, following which the data offered will be reduced.
When it comes to offers close to BSNL's Rs. 29 plan,there is the Jio Rs. 52 recharge. Reliance Jio currently offers 1.05GB of data in the Rs. 52 plan, albeit with free voice calls, free 70 SMS messages, and a validity of 7 days. Reliance Jio also has a Rs. 49 recharge that offers 1GB of 4G data, truly unlimited voice calls, 50 SMS messages, and a complimentary subscription to Jio's suite of apps. However, this pack is restricted only to the Jio Phone. Meanwhile, priced at Rs. 9, the other BSNL pack directly takes on the Jio Rs. 19 recharge that offers 150MB of 4G data, albeit with a longer duration of one day.
Interestingly, Airtel also has a plan that matches the one from BSNL - the Airtel Rs. 47 recharge. This prepaid pack gives users 150 minutes of local, STD, and national roaming calls, 50 local + STD SMS messages, and 500MB of 3G/ 4G data. Also, Vodafone had recently refreshed its entry-level prepaid pack also priced at just Rs. 47. The Vodafone Rs. 47 recharge now offers users with 7,500 seconds or 125 minutes of local and STD voice calling, 50 local and national SMS messages, and 500MB of 3G/ 4G data with a validity of 28 days.