Reliance Jio, which claims to be the world’s largest mobile data network, continues to bring about paradigm shifts in the Indian telecom market. Just last week, it launched new plans and revised the old plans to offer more data, and is widely expected to launch the rumoured 4G VoLTE-enabled Jio feature phone later this week. With such sweeping changes afoot, telecom operators such as Airtel, Vodafone, Idea Cellular, BSNL, and Aircel have launched several plans with bundled data and calls. With the new Jio plans in the market, the incumbents will have to continue offering such competitive plans to ensure they don’t lose customers, which isn’t really a surprise since a new plan is launched almost every week nowadays. We take a quick look at the best data and talk value offers launched by all the major telcos since the Jio Summer Surprise offer was launched.
With its launch in September last year, Reliance Jio revealed the Jio Welcome Offer, with free data, calling, SMS, and app services to customers. While the operator claims calling will remain free on its VoLTE network, its promotional launch offer for free data, SMS, and app services was extended for another three-months from January with the Happy New Year offer. Reliance Jio started its paid services in April, and alongside also introduced the three month Jio Summer Surprise offer for customers who purchase the Jio Prime membership – at Rs. 99 – valid until March 2018.
The Jio Summer Surprise offer provides 1GB 4G data per day up to 90 days at Rs. 303 and 2GB 4G data per day up to three months at Rs. 499. Postpaid customers get 60GB of 4G data for the billing cycle, with the FUP set at 2GB per day. However, this offer did not last long – with TRAI ordering Jio to end its complimentary services – and was pulled by Reliance Jio within a few days. As its substitute, the company came up with a similar offer Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan offer for Prime users that offers 1GB data per day up to three months for Rs. 309 and 2GB data per day up to three months at Rs. 509. There’s one major difference between the Summer Surprise and Dhan Dhana Dhan offers however – three additional months of complimentary services.
If you were amongst the first people to opt for Jio Prime and make subsequent recharge of Rs. 303 or higher value, you became eligible for the Summer Surprise offer, which gave you complimentary free data, SMS, and app services free for up to three months, after which the Rs. 303 (or higher) recharge value will become effective.
Customers who missed availing the Jio Summer Surprise offer and went for the Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan offer did not get any of the above described services free for the first three months. The value recharges for Rs. 309 and Rs. 509 covered the 1GB per day and 2GB per day up to three months respectively. Post three months, customers will have to make recharges afresh on their Jio numbers to continue services.
Now that the Jio Summer Surprise offer has begun expiring for the early adopters, Jio has launched new plans to ensure customers get the best deals. First off, there’s the Rs. 399 pack that Jio Dhan Dhana Dhan offer for another 84 days by providing 1GB data per day, along with all the other services. The other new Jio plan, priced at Rs. 349, provides users with 20GB data for 56 days, with no daily limit on data consumption; however, users will get 10GB data for the first 28 days and the remaining 10GB for the other 28 days with this plan, instead of 20GB together.
The Rs. 309 and Rs. 509 Jio plans now come with 56-day validities, with 1GB and 2GB daily data consumption, respectively. Therefore, users will get more data and more validity at the same price with the revised plans. Similar is the case with the Rs. 999 and Rs. 1,999 plans, which now come with 90 days (90GB) and 120 days (155GB) validity, instead of 60 days (60GB) and 90 days (125GB) earlier, respectively. The Rs. 4,999 and Rs. 9,999 plans with 180-day (350GB) and 360-day (750GB) validities have been upgraded to provide 210-day (380GB) and 390-day (780GB) validities as well.
After the announcement of its commercial launch by Reliance Jio in March this year, Airtel came up with data-heavy plans to attract customers. In March, it firstly launched the Rs. 345 plan for prepaid users with 28GB of high-speed data for 28 days. While the daily FUP was set at 1GB per day, customers were able to use only 500MB of data during the day, while the remaining 500MB was allotted for the 12am to 6am period.
In April, Airtel upgraded the Rs. 345 recharge pack to offer double the data to 2GB per day without any restrictions on the timing that was previously offered. For similar customers who did not want any time restriction on the data were offered a new Rs. 549 plan that provided 1GB high-speed data per day for 28 days without the time constraints.
Both the plans offered free local and STD calls as well but with some caveats. Airtel users who made calls beyond the 1,200 bundled minutes were charged at 30p per minute (for local and STD calls). Moreover, Airtel capped the free calls per day at 300 minutes, after which the charges were 30p per minute. Additionally, calling more than 100 unique users in a week entailed call tariff of 30p per minute for the rest of the validity.
While the Rs. 549 plan is still available for users to opt-in, the Rs. 345 plan has been revised to Rs. 349 per month and the daily data cap has been reduced to 1GB. The calling benefits are still the same as the original plans, and the day and night time restriction is no longer applicable in either.
Customers who wanted extra validity with same data benefits were offered two more plans by Airtel. The Rs. 244 recharge pack offered 1GB data per day for a maximum of 70 days, only for 4G handset and SIM card users. The offer came with unlimited STD and local calls, but users could only get a maximum of 300 minutes of free Airtel to Airtel calls per day, and 1,200 minutes of free calls on the network for a week. After the bundled calls were exhausted, the calls were charged Rs. 0.10 per minute.
Another plan with the validity of 70 days was the Rs. 399 pack that offered 1GB data per day on 4G handsets and SIM cards. The primary difference between the Rs. 244 and Rs. 399 plans was that users could make unlimited calls on other networks as well in the latter but with an upper restriction of 3,000 minutes after which the calls were charged at Rs. 0.10 per minute. On-net calls made on Airtel network were capped similar to the Rs. 244 plan with the maximum of free 300 minutes per day and 1,200 minutes per week.[Source”cnbc”]