The rivalry between Reliance Jio and Airtel took a new turn after telcos hiked prepaid tariffs in India. While Reliance Jio was the first one to revise its prepaid plans, Airtel and Vodafone have also followed the suit. Airtel's revised plans will be in effect from December 3, 2019, which includes changes to the most popular packages.
If you're puzzled between Reliance Jio and Airtel, here's a comparison of revised prepaid plans from both telcos, which offer value to consumers in their own ways. But which telco has gained an edge despite the hiked prices in India? Let's find out.
Airtel vs Jio
Both Airtel and Jio are constantly competing against one another in the fiercest possible way. From taking jibes at one another to offering competitive packages to lure subscribers, both telcos have driven massive transformation in the Indian telecom industry. But the recent hike in tariffs hasn't gone well with users, who first criticised Jio for charging 6p/min for calls to later calling out Airtel's promotions of "truly unlimited calls" until it hiked the rates by 41 percent.
As subscribers face confusing times, a quick comparison of plans from Airtel and Reliance Jio can give some clarity in terms of choosing the next carrier. We've picked some of the most popular prepaid plans from both telecom operators for comparison, but you can find all the plans on respective telco websites.
Monthly pack (Rs 148 vs Rs 149)
If you look at the pack value, there isn't much difference there. But you'd have to look closely for any differences.
Airtel's Rs 148 prepaid plan was previously priced at Rs 129. It offers users unlimited calls, 2GB total data and 300 SMS for 28 days. Since there is FUP limit on calls made to non-Airtel numbers, customers will be charged 6 paise per minute after exhausting the free minutes. With the 28 days unlimited plans, subscribers get 1,000 off-net minutes, which holds good for the Rs 148 package.
Reliance Jio, on the other hand, offers Rs 149 plan for subscribers, which are a part of the "All-in-one" plans. Under this, customers get 1.5GB data per day, 300 free minutes to non-Jio networks, and unlimited texts for 24 days.
In comparison, Airtel wins in the calling department, but Jio takes lead with its generous data offering. Both telcos charge customers 6p/min after free minutes, but calls within the same network are completely free. While Airtel's 1,000 minutes sure come in handy, Jio's 36GB worth data is way more than Airtel's mere 2GB.
Data value packs (Rs 298 vs Rs 222)
If you consume a lot of data, which is likely considering the latest usage habits in India, Airtel and Jio have suitable plans.
Airtel's Rs 298 plan offers 2GB data per day for 28 days. Other benefits include 1,000 off-net minutes and 100 SMSes per day. As for Jio, the Rs 222 prepaid plan gives 2GB data per day, 1,000 off-net minutes, and 100 SMSes per day for 28 days.
The benefits from both Airtel and Jio are the same, but Reliance Jio's plan is cheaper by Rs 76. If you would do this regularly, you'd be saving over Rs 900 a year with Jio.
Best value packs (Rs 698 vs Rs 555)
Both telcos offer best value packs, which come with longer validity, more data and calling benefits.
Airtel's Rs 698 plan offers 2GB data per day, unlimited calling, 3,000 off-net minutes and 100 SMS per day for 84 days. In comparison, Reliance Jio also gives the same benefits of 2GB data per day, unlimited calls within Jio's network, 3,000 off-net minutes and 100 SMS per day for 84 days. But Jio's tariff is a lot cheaper, charging Rs 555.
The difference between the two plans is the amount and Reliance Jio offers better value by being Rs 143 cheaper than Airtel.
Important tip: In the competition between Reliance Jio and Airtel, the former telco has an advantage of affordable pricing. But what subscribers need to understand is calls to other networks are no longer free. Before switching telcos, take a quick scan of your frequently called contacts and see which network they are on. If you end up spending more on off-net calls, it makes no sense to switch. The data benefits are surely something on Jio's network, but not worth switching from Airtel if all your contacts have Airtel. Of course, you could get add-ons to get free off-net minutes, but are you up for that extra effort is the question you should be asking yourself.