National network carrier Airtel has tweaked a couple of the company's popular unlimited data plans in India. It is kind of bittersweet news for Airtel subscribers, as the service provider has reduced the 4G data allowance for one and increased for another, but a costlier plan.
Previously Airtel's Rs 399 plan used to offer 1.4GB data per day at super-fast internet and beyond which the speed gets reduced to bare minimum. Also, it gave unlimited calling local and national in addition to free roaming and 100 SMS per day with validity for 84 days.
Now, the company has reduced the 1.4GB data per day allowance to just 1GB and kept other benefits intact.
On the other, Airtel has increased the allowance for Rs 448 pack from 1.4GB to 1.5GB per day valid for 82 days and the rest of the benefits are same as the aforementioned tariff plan.
It can be noted that these changes are reflected on open recharge plans on My Airtel app, while the special offer section for select people including myself, the data benefits remain the same as before.
We believe this is a transition period and Airtel is likely to increase costs to arrest the decline in revenue and also stop migration, which it has been witnessing since the debut of Reliance Jio three years ago.
Already Vodafone, which recently merged with Idea to become India's biggest telecom service provider, is also reeling under pressure from Reliance Jio. Just a few weeks, it too dropped several low tariff plans and asked customers to go for higher tariff or face interruption in the service.
Meanwhile, Reliance Jio continues to offer the same lucrative data tariff plans and is increasing its user base every passing day.
In a related development, Airtel is expected to boost the internet data download speed up to 500Mbps on 4G smartphones in India. It recently collaborated with Swedish telecommunication technology giant Ericsson and successfully tested 500Mbps on smartphones in New Delhi and is expected to bring the service to the public in near future, but surely before the commercial launch of 5G service, which is expected to take off in late 2020 or in 2021.