Airtel 4G Hotspot Takes Jio Head-on With A Reduced Price Of Rs. 999!
Airtel has announced a price cut on their 4G Hotspot device to compete directly with Jio's Jio-Fi hotspot.
Jio totally disrupted the telecom industry when it launched services this year. It left the other operators reeling with its pricing and essentially free data and talk-time. Not only did Jio disrupt the mobile phone business, but it also took on other players in wireless and broadband internet.
Jio made a killing with their Jio-Fi Wireless 4G Hotspot. The cheap data meant that Jio-Fi devices sold like hot cakes even when the device was selling around Rs. 2,000/-. Sales shot up even more when Jio slashed the device’s price to Rs. 999/- for a limited time period, way back in September.
Now, in a bid to counter Jio’s threat, Airtel has announced a price cut on their 4G Hotspot device.
Airtel 4G Hotspot Receives A Price Cut
The device which earlier cost Rs. 1,950/- has received a hefty price cut of Rs. 950/-, bringing down the price to Rs. 999/-. But the plans remain unchanged. As of now, the Airtel 4G hotspot is available at all Airtel retail stores around the country. But very soon you will be able to order the device from Amazon India.
During the announcement, Ajai Puri, chief operating officer, Bharti Airtel said,
“At Airtel, our endeavour is to deliver great value to our customers backed by a superior network experience. Airtel 4G Hotspot delivers a superior multi-device online experience, wherever the customer may be, by leveraging Airtel’s pan-India high speed data network. What’s more, it now comes at a great price with some very affordable plans that offer large bundles of data.”
Head-to-Head With JioFi
Both the 4g hotspot devices can support up to 10 devices at 4G speeds and both claim a battery life of around 6 hours. So far both these devices are turning out to be similar. So what’s the differentiating factor?
The plans of course!
Airtel plans start at Rs. 499/- (for Pune) which offers 1GB data per day for 1 month. Jio plans offer the same 1GB data per day for Rs. 309/- for 49 days, Rs. 399/- for 70 days, Rs. 459/- for 84 days and Rs. 499/- for 91 days. There are no JioFi specific plans. Users have the flexibility to use any Jio plan with their Jio-Fi device. They can even do a recharge of Rs. 19/- which gives 0.15GB data and is valid for 1 day. Airtel offers no such flexibility and users are stuck with the hotspot device-specific plans.
The plans are going to make all the difference here. While it is true that Airtel is the the leading Indian telecom, with the largest subscriber base, it seems nobody can match Jio for their plans and offerings.
But Airtel has one advantage which Jio cannot match up to. In case there is no 4G network available, the Airtel device can switch to 3G data network. Jio has no such safety-net as it has an LTE-only network.
Jio-Fi has its own special feature that Airtel cannot offer. Since Jio operates on 4G VoLTE, you can make voice calls using the Jio-Fi 4G hotspot by downloading a simple app, whereas Airtel’s hotspot supports only data.
So! What’s it going to be? Airtel or Jio? Let us know in the comments below.