Jio rings in a pitched telecom tariff war

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Reliance Jio came into existence a few months back and has ever since transformed the internet usage. Their free data and call plans made video calls a common affair and made us all accustomed to the users continuously using up data on Youtube, App stores and everywhere possible. The war of the telecoms to garner a larger customer base has been an action packed event since then, and these new and attractive offers prove that the customers will finally have good and economic options. Naturally the subscribers are going gaga over the tariff war generated by the leading telecom companies.

Reliance Jio has made some big announcements which may result in the further loss of user base for incumbents Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and others. Since the Happy New Year offer by Jio has come to an end on March 31, the rival companies thought to lure in the consumers by providing them with competitive tariffs. However, Reliance Jio took the bull by the horn and immediately came up with more attractive plans. There was some heart burning and few companies took up the issue with TRAI leading Reliance Jio to withdraw extension in time for subscribing to old schemes. Whether the rest of operators can afford to get as close to Jio, is another question altogether. Since the freebies are finally over as they say that all good things come to an end.

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 99 for a year, where you can get 1GB of data for free each day at a monthly charge of 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: According to a new tariff plan filed by the company, Jio has increased the free data usage limit from 300MB to 2GB that comes with its 149 plan. Similarly, in the 499 plan, it has increased the benefit from 4GB to 56 GB. The enhanced data plans are, however, for those consumers who agree to subscribe to the company’s ‘Prime’ membership scheme, which costs 99 annually. Jio is understood to have filed new plans with regulator Trai and these these have come into force from April 1. … Officials at Bharti Airtel, the country’s largest mobile company and Jio’s biggest rival, said they were not aware of any immediate plans to counter Jio’s move. Indeed the war of tariff has gone beyond anyone’s expectations and leaving even telecom operators confused.

Airtel eyes Telenor

India’s largest telecom service provider Airtel plans to acquire rival Telenor India, which might open up more opportunities for the company. As of now, it provides 30GB of 4G data at 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 9,000 for 12 months. Additionally, there is an option of 3GB data at a price of 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 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. Airtel’s 145 pre-paid plan currently offers data benefits of 300MB and free calling, but within the company’s own subscriber base.

Jio, on the other hand, offers unlimited free voice .. calling across networks and while roaming. Airtel has come out with plans to remove roaming charges from April 1 as it sought to counter Jio’s freebies and high-data plans.

Telecom industry analysts expect the tariff war to continue in the mobile segment, and other operators are also expected to join war including Idea Cellular and Vodafone. In one aspect where Airtel has an edge is its credibility for lesser call drops and excellent data service, say subscribers contacted randomly.

Vodafone-Idea merger

Vodafone which got into an alliance with Idea recently is offering 6GB data per month for 349, along with unlimited voice calls. In another new offer, any user who buys the 1GB data pack for 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 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 350 for 6GB data, 450 for 9GB data, 15,00 for 35GB data. While the four-time increase is not for all the offers, but the 250 one. Time will tell, how the company is able to survive after an onslaught by Reliance Jio.

Vodafone and Idea are talking big after merger. However, It is still 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 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 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 Reliance Jio network providing service and called out to people against using freebies and asked them to choose Idea 4G instead.

Future would see a pitched battle for tariff and data between leading telecom operators viz Reliance Jio, Vodafone, Idea, Airtel, BSNL and others. However, the best thing would be benefits to customers. No one knows who would be the ultimate winner. But one conclusion or inference one can safely draw is that it would be subscriber all the way who would be the ultimate gainer.

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