Airtel and Idea take a leaf out of Jio’s page, unveil similarly priced prepaid plans

Submitted by iphoneuser on Sat, 12/10/2016 - 20:15

The fight for India’s nearly one billion prepaid mobile subscribers has begun with Bharti Airtel India’s largest phone company, as well as Idea Cellular announcing ‘free voice’ tariff plans, heralding a fullblown price war as they seek to take on Reliance Jio Infocomm at its own game and prevent the Mukesh Ambani-owned company from poaching their low and mid-end customers. 

Both Airtel and Idea have similarly priced plans which bundle free voice calls with 300 MB and 1GB of 4G data at Rs 145 and Rs 148, and Rs 345 and Rs 348, respectively, for a 28-day period. Reliance Jio, at present, offers both data and voice free to its customers and will start charging them for data from April 1, 2017. While the incumbent operators’ 300 MB plans are competitively priced with Jio’s entry-level Rs 149 plan, the new entrant steals a march over them at the next slab as it will offer 2 GB of data for Rs 299 per month. 

Prepaid customers account for more than 90% of India’s total subscribers and 65-70% of the overall revenues of telcos. While Bharti Airtel had already begun offering free voice (bundled with 4G data) to its higher value postpaid subscribers, Thursday’s announcement signals the two incumbents’ intent to try to protect their lower revenue generating but high volume consumer base. 


                                     Tariff War Begins

                           DATA/VOICE PACKS BY LEADING TELECOS







Value (INR) 145/345 255/459 148/348 129/149/299 149
Data 300MB/1GB 2GB/6GB 300MB/1GB 75MB/300MB/
Voice UL-A2A/UL-L&N             -- UL-I2I/UL-L&N UL-L&N UL-L&N
Validity 28/28 Days 28/28 Days 28/28 Days 7/28/21 Days 30 Days
UL-L&N = Unlimited Local & National Calls to Any Network; UL/N = Unlimited at Night
UL-A2A = Unlimited Airtel to Airtel; UL-I2I = Unlimited Idea to Idea


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