The Jio Effect Continues Idea Cellular Comes Out With Comparable Data Plan
Consider this the JIO effect, after India’s number one telecom operator Airtel and British company Vodafone, home grown Idea Cellular has also rolled a new plan for its subscribers with the benefits of unlimited calling and loads of daily data. The operator’s new prepaid plan, worth Rs 398, is available in all circles, however, with varying costs as per different regions. The validity of the plan also differs according to circles; however, the benefits remain the same – unlimited local, STD, with 1GB of 3G/4G data per day. In some regions, the plan is valid for 35 days, while in others it is valid for 56 days. For instance, in Andhra Pradesh & Telangana the offer is valid for 56 days, whereas in some other areas the validity is of 70 days. The main difference is that this plan does not offer any free SMS benefits to the users. The plan has been introduced to counter Reliance JIO’S and Airtel’s aggressive plans targeting Indian customers.
The company had recently also launched the Rs 357 plan, which offers 1GB data every day for a period of 28 days, in addition to unlimited local and STD voice calls with free roaming and 100 SMSes. Idea Cellular is also offering an open market tariff plan of Rs 349, which offers unlimited voice calls, including incoming and outgoing roaming calls, 1GB data per day, and 100 SMS per day for 28 days. The difference between both the plans is that Rs 357 plan is valid for every Idea subscriber regardless of the device they use (2G/3G/4G), whereas the Rs 349 plan is valid only for 3G/4G subscribers. However, both the plans offer the same benefits to the users.
All the similar plans by telecom operators are the side effects of JIO’s super popular Rs 399 plan for prepaid users, offering unlimited voice calling, unlimited SMS and unlimited data access with the daily limit of 1GB. Reliance JIO and Bharti Airtel, in their war for the subscribers, have been continuously pushing down the rates for their services and in the meantime forcing other telecom companies to come up with competing plans to retain their customer bases.
Since Reliance JIO entered the Indian telecom market offering exciting yet comparably cheap tariff plans, users have opted for the operator in a big way, which apparently has left effects on other operator’s data consumption and revenues. Hence, the case of Idea Cellular and other operators, which are now trying their best to keep their regular customers on their side of the fence by rolling out attractive different offers. The company, in fact, became the pan India 4G operator having 4G services across India, only in May 2017, by rolling out 4G services in Mumbai, the commercial capital of India.
It had launched 4G on 2100 MHz unlike traditional 4G bands like 1800 MHz or 2300 MHz.
It is worth mentioning that the merger of Vodafone India with Idea Cellular (which are the country’s second and third largest telecom operators respectively) is nearing the final closure and both the operators are now waiting for the required regulatory approvals to fall in place. Both the companies have recently agreed to merge their businesses to create the India’s largest telecom operator. When the deal indeed fructifies, it will create a telecom operator with a valuation of more than $23 billion, with 35% market share in the world’s most competitive telecom market of India.