Tariff war: Reliance Jio Prime vs Airtel, Vodafone and Idea; a comparison of 4G data plans

    Since the Happy New Year offer by Reliance Jio will end on March 31, the rival companies will have a chance to lure in consumers by providing them with competitive tariffs. (Source: Reuters)

    Reliance Jio made some big announcements on February 21, which may result in the further loss of user base for incumbents Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and others. At the same time, since the Happy New Year offer by Jio will end on March 31, the rival companies will have a chance to lure in consumers by providing them with competitive tariffs. Whether they can afford to get as close to Jio, is another question altogether. Since the freebies will be over now, Jio has announced a new plan called the ‘Jio Prime’ where consumers will be able to get similar services by paying nominal prices. If you are a Reliance Jio subscriber, you will have to pay Rs 99 for a year, where you can get 1GB of data for free each day at a monthly charge of Rs 303. In a way, 30GB data for that price is exceptionally low when compared with other network providers. This simply suggests that Jio has planned to draw top customers of Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, most of whom already use Jio as a secondary SIM. Meanwhile, it is high time the rival companies take some steps to make such subscribers stay, at the same time not make losses. Here is a look at what they are currently offering:

    Airtel: India’s largest telecom service provider said on Thursday that it will acquire rival Telenor India, which might open up more opportunities for the company. As of now, it provides 30GB of 4G data at Rs 1,495 for a period of three months. If you do not have an Airtel connection and wish to shift to its 4G service, by paying Rs 9,000 for 12 months. Additionally, there is an option of 3GB data at a price of Rs 345. The pack offers free calls to any network in the country and 4GB data (1GB regular pack benefit and 3GB free data). For postpaid users, you can get free 3 GB data per month with all MyPlan Infinity Plans. The Rs 549 Infinity plan will be offering unlimited calling and also 6GB data per month including the 3GB free data plan. The regular plan includes free voice calling (Local + STD), free SMS and subscriptions to Wynk Music and Wynk Movies. Customers need to access the MyAirtel App to avail the offer.

    Vodafone: It is offering 6GB data per month for Rs 349, along with unlimited voice calls. In another new offer, any user who buys the 1GB data pack for Rs 250, will now get 4GB data with a validity of 28 days. Additionally, Vodafone will also give 22GB of data when you recharge your number with Rs 999. For that price, earlier customers could get only 10GB of 4G data. This new offer can be availed in all regions where the company offers its 4G services. The data pack which offers four times the usual value can be availed through online media and also local retailer recharges. The other offers by Vodafone are Rs 350 for 6GB data, Rs 450 for 9GB data, Rs 15,00 for 35GB data. While the four-time increase is not for all the offers, but the Rs 250 one.

    Idea Cellular: It is not sure how the possible merger with Vodafone will pan out for the company, yet it is trying its best to match up to the prices currently. It is offering 1GB data per month for Rs 348, along with unlimited calling feature. If you recharge with this pack on a new 4G-enabled handset, you will get additional 3GB data. The validity for the pack is 28 days and can be availed for a maximum of 13 recharges in 365 days. There is a Rs 499 rental plan for postpaid subscribers too, which will give users unlimited local, national and incoming roaming calls with 3GB free data. Recently, Idea in a new advertisement campaign took a jibe at Reliance Jio’s offering of 4G services. In the latest ad, Idea has mocked the Mukesh Ambani-owned network providing service and called out to people against using freebies and asked them to choose Idea 4G instead.

    As is known, the incumbent operators and Jio have fought a pitched battle since September 2016 not only on the tariff front but also on the regulatory front. Meanwhile, the Telecom Commission expressed concerns about how Reliance Jio has not only affected incumbent operators like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular, it has also dented government revenues in the current fiscal.

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