To counter Jio's onslaught, Vodafone teamed up with Idea and Airtel joined hands with Tata Teleservices.
The Indian telecom industry witnessed a sea-change with the entry of Reliance Jio. Over a year ago, the company carved a niche for itself with a deadly combination of low-priced data packs and unlimited calling options. These offers led rivals Vodafone, Airtel and BSNL to opt for a major change in strategy and start announcing unbelievable offers.
To counter Jio’s onslaught, Vodafone teamed up with Idea and Airtel joined hands with Tata Teleservices.
Consumer is undoubtedly king in India’s telecom industry, with these data wars being on for a few months now. Major telecom players are still trying to outdo each other’s offers to attract cellphone users.
Also Read: Telecoms form alliances to offer more TV shows, movies
Vodafone has introduced three new RED postpaid plans in a bid to counter the aggressive pricing policies of Reliance Jio. The RED Traveller plans offer users unlimited calling, including local and STD calls, in addition to 100 SMSs for the entire billing cycle.
Vodafone RED International includes three plans with monthly rentals of Rs.1299, Rs.1699 and Rs.1999, respectively. As the name suggests, these plans are meant for those who frequently travel abroad.
Vodafone RED Signature has only one plan as of now, with a monthly rental of Rs.2,999. This plan provides 200 GB data, 200 SMSs as well as free 200 ISD minutes. This plan is on offer to only postpaid users.
Airtel is also gearing up to take on competition. It has rolled out a Rs.448 plan, which allows prepaid users to make unlimited voice calls in addition to using 1 GB of data every day for a duration of 70 days. The company is also offering 100 free SMSs per day.
Besides this, Airtel has introduced several other bundled offers. The Rs.495 plan allows users to make unlimited calls and has a validity period of 84 days. Another plan which is meant for prepaid users is priced at Rs.999. This plan offers 112 GB data for 28 days, while also allowing users to make unlimited local and STD calls.
BSNL had announced a prepaid offer in September. Priced at Rs.249, the plan offers users 10 GB data per day. The state-owned telecom operator introduced this offer with several voice and data benefits to counter Reliance Jio’s aggressive data pricing.
The company has recently announced another prepaid offer. Priced at Rs.429, this prepaid plan gives users unlimited voice calls and 1 GB of data every day. It has a validity of 90 days.
Despite all the bloodletting and providers being in the red trying to please customers, Reliance Jio decided it wasn’t yet time to call it quits. The company has announced cashback offers of Rs.50 on every recharge of Rs.399. Here’s how this works. After a recharge of Rs.339, eight vouchers priced at Rs.50 each will be credited to the digital wallet of the Jio Prime user. The vouchers can be used for getting discounts on data top-ups.
Subscribers also receive an instant cashback of up to Rs.300 on every recharge done with Jio’s partner mobile wallets such as AmazonPay, FreeCharge, AxisPay, Paytm, Mobikwik and PhonePe.
Will these data pack wars ever stop? The providers will need to focus on differentiating themselves. This is already happening, with Vodafone offering Vodafone Play and free Netflix subscription. And, there are more such associations being formed.