3G Data Rate Plans Comparison: Idea vs Vodafone vs Airtel vs Reliance


Update: We have published a new article comparing the 3G Data plans of various mobile operators for 2014

India’s 3G market opened up on an expensive note. The plans were initially un-economical, but Airtel was the first aggressor slashing its rates by over 70 percent back in May last year. Following suit, practically all other major operators slashed their rates.

Along with the impending price adjustments on the operator’s front, even the hardware and phones needed to use 3G have been getting cheaper and cheaper. So with this as a catalyst, many industry watchdogs expect quick and steady growth in the Indian mobile internet scenario.

Trak.in did a review of the data rates last year, but the rates have changed drastically since, and so we decided to update it with the latest 3G data plan rate offerings.

Idea Cellular 3G Data Rate Plansclip_image001

Idea cellular provides a range of 3G services right from trial packs at Rs 8 upto the 10Gb pack lasting a month. The bottom end of the monthly usage spectrum has largely remained unchanged, with the affordable plans of Rs 105 and Rs 205 for 300 and 600Mb respectively.

The most popular and also affordable is the 1Gb plan priced at Rs 245.

The primary drop in the rates compared to last year is seen at the higher end of plans. Though the unlimited plan is still at Rs 945 for 3G speeds upto 6Gb and 40 Kbps after that, Idea has appeased the data heavy users with a plan for 10Gb at a relatively affordable Rs 1495.

See the details on Ideas 3G rates portal.

Vodafone 3G Data Rate  Plans:


Vodafone provides with a slightly heavier one day trial pack at Rs. 26 at the very bottom end of the range. The 300Mb plan stands at Rs 105, largely undistinguished from other providers.

Similar is the case with its 1Gb plan which will cost you Rs. 251. One thing to note here is that there is no plan available in between the 300Mb and 1Gb mark. Though it may be less popular, it provides a good middle ground for the budget conscious 3G users.

On the unlimited front, you get 5Gb of 3G usage for Rs. 898, with no information provided on the reduced speeds. The 10Gb plan for heavy users stands at Rs 1501.

Check out the entire list of Vodafone 3G plans available.

Airtel 3G Data Rate Plans


Airtel too provides an entire buffet of 3G data packs ranging from trial packs to high value data plans. The most frequently used 300 Mb and 1 Gb plans are Rs 101 and Rs 252 respectively. The heavy 10 Gb plan is priced at Rs 1505.

Among the other ordinarily priced plans, the unlimited plans offered by Airtel are a lot more. Where others offer a single unlimited plan, Airtel offers unlimited plans starting from Rs 655 for 3Gb upto Rs. 1555 for 12Gb. These plans really provide a trump card to Airtel.

Lets consider a heavy user as a case study. While Idea and Vodafone offer 10Gb at around Rs 1500, Airtel provides 12Gb for Rs 1555. And in addition to the extra data, it is an unlimited plan. This will be appealing to users who have 3G as their primary internet connection.

Complete list of Airtel 3G plans available.

Reliance 3G data Rate pricing:


Reliance has the most simplified set of offerings compared to other service providers. They have two trial packs, a weekly pack and 4 monthly packs. The packs are very straightforward, with nothing much to choose from. The standard 300 Mb plan stands at Rs. 198. The highest offered plan is for 2Gb which costs Rs 448.

Reliance’s 1GB plan is priced quite similar to others at Rs. 247.

It is surprising that reliance is not offering any plans for data heavy users. Even the unlimited plans are missing. Considering how aggressively Reliance entered the telecom market, this is really uncharacteristic of them.

Here is the full list of Reliance’s 3G plans.


  1. For the popular usage pack of 1Gb, the rates are almost similar around the Rs 250 range irrespective to what telecom operator you choose.
  2. Though many of the price points are largely unchanged, a number of unlimited packs offered have serious value for money factor in their favour.
  3. For heavy users, Airtel’s top unlimited pack offering 12Gb of optimum speed usage followed by 80Kbps unrestricted data seems to be the best bet. And it is priced close to others 10Gb only offerings too!
  4. Though these plans provide an overview of the cost factor, an important thing you need to consider is how the network performs in your geographical area.

[About the Author: This article has been compiled by Ankur Khangaonkar. He is a part of the team at whaatt.com and covers various subjects like automobile tech, cellular developments and is an ardent believer in Entrepreneurship.]

  1. gspal says

    Idea does not provide carry forward of unutilized data balance on recharge which Voda does. However, Voda 3G is more or less finished in Lucknow.

  2. Suresh says

    2015 SPEED 3G REPORT

    Airtel – 2-3Mbps
    Aircel – 1-2Mbps
    Idea (ICR) – 3-5Mbps
    Vodafone – 3-5Mbps
    Reliance (ICR) – 1-2Mbps
    BSNL – 1-3Mbps

    Rate Wise:
    Costlier to lowest
    AIRTEL – High rates

  3. yogesh sisodia says

    How does airtel 3g unlimited plan works at controlled speed? Is that sufficient enough for surfing &, live video streaming?

  4. LALA SABJI says

    AirTel 3G Gives you atleast the speed of 2-3MBPS
    Vodafone Gives you the speed of 2-5MBPS
    Reliance Gives you the speed of 2-3MBPS
    Idea Gives you the speed of 2-5MBPS
    But AirCel gives you the speed of 512-1MBPS, which has poor network on 3G & Suddenly changes to 2G

    I trust only Idea the best 3G Provider

  5. Allan says

    You should compare Aircel 3G Tariffs as well. They offer cheapest in the Industry and is definitely value for money to consumers.

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