New 4G Plans Comparison: Reliance Jio Vs Airtel Vs. Vodafone Vs. Idea [Here is the Catch]
After the launch of Jio Prime offer, all the leading incumbent telecom operators also launched similar unlimited voice and 4G data plans to counter the threat of Reliance Jio. All these plans cost around Rs. 350, and are valid for 28 days. But in contrast to what these telcos want you to believe, their tariff plans are not better than those offered by Reliance Jio in the true sense.
Update: We have updated the article as per the T&Cs and FUP policies of various telecom operators.
What’s The Catch?
Please note that Airtel and Vodafone are offering 28 GB 4G data each, whereas Idea is offering 14 GB 4G data. All these plans come with a validity of 28 days but with a catch.
Firstly, these plans are not available to the masses pan-India. Secondly, this huge data limit is only for data consumed on 4G network, and is not valid for 2G or 3G subscribers.
These plans are currently launched as segmented offers, which limits them only to a select few subscribers across the country. If you don’t get any SMS about these plans, or if these plans don’t show up in your user account in your telco’s self-care app, then these new tariff plans are not for you!
Not All These Plans Are Truly Unlimited
While Reliance Jio, is offering unlimited voice calling to any number (even during roaming) in the country under these plans, others have put in an FUP policy restricting the minutes of free calls that users can enjoy in a day or a week.
Note: The voice benefits under Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea tariff plans are not valid while roaming.
Both Airtel and Vodafone restrict the free voice to 300 minutes/day (Local/STD) or 1200 minutes/week (Local/STD).
If an Airtel user violates the FUP limit then his/her calls will be charged at either 10p/min or 30p/min based on the violation and the tariff plan. Check Terms & Conditions of Airtel Plans.
Airtel: Consequences of Commercial Usage On Unlimited Data & Voice Combo Plans
|Pack||More than 1200 minutes in a rolling seven (7) day period||More than 300 minutes in a single day||More than 100 unique MSIDNs|
|149||10p/min for the remaining days||10p/min for the remaining part of the day till 23:59 hours||10p/min for the remaining period the recharge|
|349||30p/min for the remaining days||30p/min for the remaining part of the day till 23:59 hours||30p/min for the remaining period the recharge|
Talking about data, Jio is offering unlimited 4G data with a FUP of 1 GB high-speed data per day, post that the users would get unlimited internet access at 128 Kbps.
Vodafone is offering 28 GB 4G data for 28 days, restricted to 1 GB/day, but post the exhaustion of free quota, the users would be charged at a whopping Rs. 4000/GB (as per the ongoing rate of 4p/10 KB post the exhaustion of data benefits).
Idea’s free data offering (14 GB for 28 days) is capped at 500 MB/day, post that the subscribers will be charged at Rs. 4000/GB (4p/10 KB).
Airtel is offering 28 GB 4G data for 28 days (limited to just 500 MB for 28 days for 2G/3G usage), but has notoriously capped the free data usage to 500 MB during the daytime, and 500 MB for night (12 am – 6am) usage. So, for normal human beings, Airtel is also offering just 500 MB per day, unless you are willing to change your lifestyle and upset your body for the sake of consuming more data.
All that Airtel knows is how to deceive consumers with innovative ways and exploit the term “night” usage.
Beware: Telcos Can Withdraw These Offers Post 31st March
All Jio users can subscribe to Jio Prime any time before 31st March and avail the benefits of its Rs. 303 plan for a whole 1 year.
Airtel users can avail these packs on or before 31 March and enjoy the same tariff plans till 31st March 2018.
However, Vodafone and Idea give no such assurance. Further, their users (only the chosen ones) will need to recharge before 15th March if they wish to subscribe to these plans.
Therefore, the plan might be to make the high revenue customers subscribe to these plans instead of opting for Jio Prime and then withdraw these offers in future.
This way they will maintain their high ARPU (Average Revenue per User) while retaining their most profitable customers, although by unethical means. No such reputed brand would do such a thing, as doing so would tarnish its image and would encourage disgruntled customers to switch to the competitors without worrying about getting better value-for-money.
The trio has not disclosed any details about the criteria for segmentation, but if it is offering the new plans only to high paying customers, ignoring the low paying ones, they might be making a grave mistake.
It can happen that these low paying customers might switch to Jio, opt for its Rs. 303 offer under the Jio Prime membership, and thus upgrade themselves into high paying customers as per current standards.
Also the latest offers from Airtel, Vodafone and Idea are available only for a select few users on 4G handsets, leaving the old and loyal 2G/3G users feeling left out. These customers can then join the competitor’s bandwagon for getting back at their current telecom operator.
A Word Of Advice To Our Readers
As the latest tariff plans offered by Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea are not for everyone and cannot be compared apples to apples with Jio tariff plans, we ask you to subscribe to these plans, if you are eligible.
We also suggest that you wait until the month-end for more developments (from Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea about the validity of these plans) and then take Jio Prime membership if you are not sure.
This will save you from the risk of losing out on a good tariff plan of your current operator, and also make you feel safe by enrolling yourself for Jio Prime membership. So even if these limited time offers are withdrawn in near future, you can always go back to your Jio number for getting the maximum value for your money.
We welcome your thoughts and contingency plans for this situation. Kindly share them with the rest of our readers by posting a comment!