On October 8, Jio shocked all the leading telecom operators in India with the announcement of free voice and data services.Till now it seemed the key incumbent competitors, namely, Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea, had weathered the storm remarkably well but with the extension of Welcome Offer by Reliance Industries Chairman Mukesh Ambani till March 31, 2017, things seem to be changing.
The incumbents, who were keeping their powder dry until the time Jio starts charging for its services, are finally faced with a Hobson’s choice. Try and fight ‘free’ for the next three months, or take the tough call on wait out yet another period when they might lose too much to make the fight worthwhile.
The guys to blink first as result of Reliance Jio extended ‘Welcome Offer’, were incumbent telecom operators Airtel and Vodafone. They have started offering unlimited calling plans for its users with riders. And latest one joining this bandwagon is Idea. The company has announced two new plans for its prepaid customers. Priced at Rs 148 and Rs 348, the plans offers unlimited voice calls along with data benefits.
Starting with the Rs 148 plan, customers will be able to make free Local and STD Idea-to-Idea calls across India and gets 50MB of additional data for a non-4G mobile phone, while the users with 4G handsets will get 300 MB of data in addition to voice benefit.
Coming to the Rs 348 plan, users will be able to make free Local and STD calls across all networks in India along with 50MB of data, while users with 4G-enabled handsets will get 1GB of data in addition to voice benefit.Both the packs are valid for 28 days, although the price of the packs might vary from circle to circle.
Commenting on the launch, Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular said, “As people in India get into the holiday mode, they will tend to stay better connected with their loved ones. Providing them with seamless connectivity at an affordable price point, we have launched these exciting voice packs that enable Idea prepaid users to make unlimited voice calls across the country. We hope they make the best out of this proposition.”
Earlier, Airtel had also launched two new bundles packs for Rs 145 and Rs 345. The Rs 145 pans comes with free Local and STD Airtel-to-Airtel calling coupled with 300MB of 4G mobile data, while in the Rs 345 plans, users will be getting 1GB of 4G mobile data and free Local and STD calls to any network in India.
Vodafone also came up with a Double Dhamaka offer for new and existing Vodafone customers, through which they can get double data across different tariffs plans starting from Rs 255. For Rs 255 one can get 2GB 4G data instead of previously available 1GB. Further for Rs 999, one can avail 20GB of 4G internet data making it Rs 50/GB. For Rs 459, consumer will get 3GB + 3GB, for Rs 559 you get 4GB + 4GB. Further, by subscribing to Rs 1999 plan, one can get 40GB 4G internet data.