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Popular network service provider Airtel has launched a new yearly pre-paid tariff plan to take on the emerging player Reliance Jio in India.

Previously, Airtel had been offering only 82-90 days (three months) unlimited calling tariff plans with varying data allowance per day, limiting its appeal to new consumers and also for existing subscribers while rivals such as BSNL, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea offered a yearly pre-paid plan.

Now, the company has finally announced Rs 1699 pack, which offers benefits such as 1GB/day, free calling (local and STD), national roaming and 100 SMS per day. The validity is for 365 days (one year). However, it is currently available in select circles including Himachal Pradesh, reported Telecom Talk citing local Airtel affiliated currency recharge store.

Airtel vs Reliance Jio
Airtel vs Reliance JioIBTimes India

If we break it down, customers will be paying Rs 141 per month, which is a better deal than the 80-90 days plan that cost anywhere between Rs 398 and Rs 509. Another advantage is that users have to pay only once a year and won't receive any pesky remainder SMS about impending closure of the tariff plan.

Airtel's new annual pre-paid looks promising, but is it better than Reliance Jio's tariff plan? Let's check it out.

Reliance Jio's yearly tariff costs Rs 1699, same as the Airtel's new offer. However, the former is offering more data benefits per da. Jio subscribers are entitled to get 1.5GB/day (equivalent to 547.5GB per year), truly unlimited voice calling (no ceiling on call minutes per day), 100 SMS/day, Furthermore, people will get access to Jio suite of apps including JioCinema, JioSaavn Music and more.

Bharti Airtel
Airtel launches new Rs 1699 yearly tariff plan in India.Reuters

Though Airtel's annual plan is a tad less compelling compared to Reliance, this move will bode well for the former in the long run, provided it improves the call and internet connectivity. Also, recently, Airtel discontinued telecom services to pre-paid consumers with low currency. It had claimed that the decision was taken despite the risk of losing customers, but was confident of the keeping loyal subscribers and also attract new users with good services in addition to lucrative offers such as limited time free subscription to Amazon Prime Video, Netflix and other media streaming service providers.

In a related development, Airtel became the first ever network service provider to offer 4G connectivity in Andaman and Nicobar Islands.

Airtel 4G services will be available initially at Port Blair and will be gradually expanded to other parts of the archipelago. Existing customers can upgrade to 4G SIM for free and choose from a range of exciting Prepaid and Postpaid plans that come with premium bundled content like Netflix, Amazon and Zee5. Airtel 4G will be available to customers across a range of smart devices including mobile phones, dongles and 4G hotspots, the company said.