Ever since Reliance Jio entered the picture with its disruptive pricing, free calls and cheap data rates, the rest of the telecom sector has been hard at work trying to catch up. Now, Airtel and Vodafone have just revamped their postpaid plans in a bid to lure customers away from Jio. Both companies are offering 20GB of 4G data along with unlimited calls for just Rs 499 per month.
Airtel is now offering 20GB of 4G data, unlimited local and STD calls, unlimited free outgoing calls on national roaming along with 100 SMS per day for just Rs 499 per month (plus taxes). You also get a free subscription to Wynk Music and Airtel TV for the duration of the plan.
The icing on the cake is the fact that the Rs 499 plan also gets you a subscription to Airtel Secure. With Airtel Secure, you can protect your smartphone against malware (via Norton Mobile Security) and physical damage. You also get 2GB of cloud storage for free. If your device is accidentally damaged, Airtel will arrange for a pick-up of the device, get it repaired from an authorised service centre and then deliver it back to the customer.
Both Airtel and Vodafone are offering 20GB of 4G data along with unlimited calls for just Rs 499 per month
Vodafone has also revamped its RED postpaid plans. Vodafone's new Rs 499 'RED Traveler R' plan offers 20GB of 4G data, unlimited local and STD calls and 100 SMS per day. Just like Airtel Secure, Vodafone's RED Shield Device Security is also bundled with the plan. But Vodafone offers free damage and theft protection for only four months.
Let's put these new plans in perspective. A few weeks ago, Airtel was offering just 3GB of 4G data for the same amount of money - now you get 17GB more. Earlier, Airtel's Rs 499 plan also excluded free roaming calls - that was exclusive to Infinity plans north of Rs 799. Vodafone was also offering only 3GB of data for Rs 499 before the introduction of the new RED plans.
As an Airtel user, before opting for this Rs 499 plan, I used to pay 999 rupees per month and just get 7GB of data per month. In fact, one year ago, I used to pay somewhere in the vicinity of 2,000 rupees per month to get much less than 20GB of data. Unlimited free calls? they were all but a dream back then.
One year ago, I used to pay somewhere in the vicinity of 2,000 rupees per month to get much less than 20GB of data
I have criticised Airtel in the past for ignoring their post-paid users and only offering great deals to their prepaid customers. Finally that criticism seems to have paid off as this plan surely offers terrific value for money. Top this up with Airtel's lucrative data roll over promise and their postpaid package suddenly seems like an extremely attractive proposition.
What is data roll over? Airtel Postpaid users are now able to carry forward their unused monthly data quota to their next billing cycle. A total of 200GB of data can be accumulated and there is no time limit within which the data has to be used. This basically means that if you have 12GB left of your 20GB data limit, it will be carried forward to the next billing cycle automatically.
A few months after Airtel introduced Data roll over, Vodafone has also followed suit. Vodafone postpaid users can also now carry forward their left over data onto their next bill cycle. Similar to Airtel, a maximum of 200GB can be accumulated.
What about prepaid users?
Airtel has just updated it Rs 349 plan to offer more data at the same price. Prepaid users can now get 1.5GB data per day, unlimited local and STD calls and 3000 SMS in total. There is a catch though - free calls are limited to 250 minutes per day or 1000 minutes per week. Airtel has recently launched another prepaid pack which offers unlimited local and STD calls, unlimited outgoing calls on national roaming and 70GB of 4G data for Rs 448. Both plans have a validity of 28 days.
Vodafone on the other hand is offering 1GB 4G data per day, unlimited local and STD mobile and landline calls and a free subscription to Vodafone Play for Rs 349. There is another plan which offers unlimited local, STD and roaming calls, 1GB data per day and a free subscription to Vodafone Play for Rs 392. Both plans have a validity of 28 days.