Telecom operators are aggressively making a bid to push entry-level users to higher-paying plans — a much-needed move for the financially struggling telcos — but Reliance Jio’s Rs 75 entry-level plan has remained the best deal so far offering value for money.
A day earlier, Bharti Airtel tweaked its low-end (2G) tariff portfolio by discontinuing entry-level plan that now start at Rs.79 and offers Rs.64 of talk-time and 200MB data, implying that the minimum plan that is required to stay active on Airtel’s network is Rs.79.
As per ANI, the new plan will work out to a 60 percent increase for the bottom of pyramid users, which also includes those users who use their phone for only incoming services, as they cannot afford to pay for outgoing calls/data.
On the other hand, Jio offers an Rs.75 entry-level plan for JioPhone users that comes with many more benefits. It is providing 300 minutes of free voice calls every month free without a customer doing a recharge.
On the other side, Airtel’s Rs.79 plan also provides an Rs 64 talk time that translates to 106 minutes of calls at the rate of 60 paise per minute.
Besides, Airtel has blocked SMS services on Rs.79 plan, thus disallowing low-end users from availing several SMS-based government benefits.
Vodafone Idea (Vi) has made similar moves in a few circles and will expand it pan-India soon in a bid to push entry-level users to higher-paying plans.
Pre-paid users make up well over 90 percent of the industry’s subscriber base.