Reliance Communications (RCOM) has reduced 3G rates by half, making RCOM’s 3G data plans cheaper than its 2G data plans.
RCOM is offering three new 3G data plans — at Rs 123 for 1 GB, Rs 246 for 2 GB and Rs 492 for 4 GB, while it offers 1GB 2G plan for Rs 125 per month. The offer is applicable to both new and existing prepay and postpay customers. Interestingly, RCOM is so confident that it’s offering attractive 3G rates that it has also launched a special MNP offer, offering new customers through MNP with 1GB of 3G data free per month for two months.
This comes at the time when Airtel reduced its 4G tariff for prepay and postpay customers in Bangalore, Kolkata, Pune and Chandigarh, making it cheaper than Airtel’s 3G data plans. However, as reported earlier, Airtel seems to be limiting its 4G speeds to 10 Mbps following the reduction in 4G tariff.
In June 2013, Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and Tata DOCOMO had reduced their 2G rates almost by 90% in select circles. The reduced 2G rates reduced the entry barrier for using mobile internet, however, RCOM’s current offering make it a pathway to more 3G adoption in the country. RCOM’s reduced 3G data tariff is a welcome move as the country has not seen any reasonable 3G adoption rate due to high 3G data rates.
Since the tariff rates for 1GB 3G data is now cheaper than 2G data rates, we wonder whether RCOM would reduce its 2G data tariff as well. However, it appears that RCOM wants to increase its 3G subscribers and doesn’t want to leave any incentive to users to opt for 2G plans.
RCOM’s data initiatives
That said, RCOM had also tied up with various internet based services to promote data usage on its network, which seems to have paid off. RCOM had reported 7.2 million 3G subscribers and 29.4 million data customers for the quarter ending March 31, 2012, claiming that it has the highest 3G subscriber base in the country. It also reported data usage per subscriber was up 13.93% to 319 MB per connection from 280 MB last quarter, which the company claims is the highest in the industry.
In April 2013, RCOM inked a deal with Twitter to launch a new plan – ‘Reliance Twitter Access Pack’ which offered free Twitter access across Twitter.com, Mobile.twitter.com and Twitter’s official mobile apps, to its GSM subscribers for 90 days. In October 2012, RCOM had also launched a prepaid plan ‘WhatsApp Plan’ for all Reliance GSM subscribers and ‘My College Plan’ for students across the country. With the plan, Reliance GSM subscribers can get unlimited usage of WhatsApp and Facebook across the country for Rs. 16/month. In June 2013, RCOM had partnered STAR Sports to offer unlimited live streaming of the ongoing ICC Champions Trophy 2013 tournament on STAR Sports mobile site to its subscribers.
In June 2013, RCOM had launched the iPhone 5 GSM version on its network along with special tariff plans for new and old RCOM iPhone subscribers. RCOM is offering four monthly plans: 2GB of 3G data & 100 voice minutes free at Rs 304, 3GB 3G data & 200 voice minutes at Rs 504, 6GB 3G data & 400 voice minutes at Rs 804, and 10GB 3G data & 500 voice minutes at Rs 1,004. The handset has to be purchased separately. The 16GB version of the iPhone will be available for Rs 45,500, the 32GB version for Rs 52,500 and the 64GB model for Rs 59,500. Besides this, RCOM is also offering free access to Facebook, Twitter & WhatsApp for 90 days. We wonder if iPhone users on RCOM network would be entitled to reduced 3G data rates.