In the ongoing price war between Reliance Jio and other Indian telcos, current market leader Airtel has come out with a new promotion that offers as much as 2GB 3G/4G data for Rs 153. The reported USP of Airtel's latest offer is that users will not be required to pay upfront charges and can directly pay Rs 153 to avail 2GB 4G data.
However, Airtel's Rs 153 2GB 4G data offer seems to be active only in select telecom circles covered by the operator. The offer, once active across all of Airtel's telecom circles, would represent a diversion in the way telcos offer data packs without upfront charges (on direct recharges).
In the current scenario, incumbent telcos — Vodafone, Idea Cellular, MTS India and others — predominantly offer 1GB 4G/3G data for a price of around Rs150 . Also, these packs are more often than not offered as promotions. Customers not preferring to avail these promotions are required to spend more than Rs 250 in order to obtain and use 1GB 4G/3G data.
In this scenario, Airtel's latest Rs 153 plan also seems to be a promotion, with the data limit doubled. Validity of this 2GB internet pack is said to be 28 days, applicable to only prepaid customers.
Under intense competition, Reliance Jio is currently offering a plan similar to Airtel's: 2GB 4G data, including unlimited usage at night along with a host of other goodies, such as Jio apps, free voice calling and more. But the validity of this pack is only 21 days and customers should recharge for Rs 299 to avail the offer.
Other telcos charge upfront fees (such as the Rs 1,499 fee charged by Idea Cellular and Airtel without promotional offers) for offering annual 4G data and upon exhaustion of this limit, customers can opt to recharge for meagre amounts per GB (such as Rs 51) to continue to consume 4G LTE data.
As of now, it's not known when Airtel's newly reported Rs 153 for 2GB 4G/3G data pack would be rolled out across the country.