Update: Idea Cellular has also reduced its 3G data tariff. However, Idea’s new tariffs for long validity plans are a bit confusing, and offer less data compared to old tariffs. For example, the plan that costs Rs. 850, now offers 3GB of data and is valid for 60 days. Previously, the same plan offered 6GB of data with a 30 day validity period on prepaid accounts. Volume based browsing rates on 3G have also been reduced from 10p/10kb to 3p/10kb for pre-paid accounts and from 5p/10kb to 3p/10kb on Post-paid accounts.
Idea also provides an unlimited 3G data plan wherein it offers 6GB of data at 21.1Mbps speed and 128Kbps beyond that usage. The TRAI recently issued a directive to all telecom service providers asking them to refrain from misleading tariff advertisements so that subscribers can choose services and tariff plans, without being lured by attractive options that come with a fine print. It also includes that if a plan was termed as unlimited, putting a fair usage or daily/monthly limit, would be misleading. However, Idea seems to have ignored these instructions.
Vodafone’s new 3G tariffs: Vodafone has also updated their 3G data plans for both pre-paid and post-paid customers, reducing tariffs. Vodafone now offers — 200MB/30days for Rs 102, 500MB/30days for Rs. 202, 1GB/30days for Rs. 375, 2GB/30days for Rs. 651, 3GB/60days for Rs. 850 and 5GB/60days for Rs. 1250 on prepaid accounts. Their postpaid and prepaid 3G data plans are available on their website.
It also continues to offer Double benefit on few of its plans where customers can enjoy double the data or validity period for the same price. However, it mentions that the double benefit plan is available only for limited period of time.
Earlier: Airtel has reduced 3G data tariffs for postpaid and prepaid subscribers, and introduced Smartbytes additional data usage packs for its postpaid mobile customers on 3G.
It’s interesting to note though, that Airtel had been offering a double data benefit on most 3G data plans, which it had said, were for a limited period. Today’s announcement essentially makes them permanent.
Smartbytes & Snacking plans: With Airtel 3G Smartbytes, postpaid mobile customers can subscribe to incremental 3G data usage packs once their monthly data pack gets used up. It’s like a 3G data top-up with no validity period but needs to be used up within the subscriber’s current monthly data pack. Apart from Smartbytes, Airtel has also introduced 3G Snacking packs in which customers get to experience 3G data for Rs 10 for 30 minutes of usage over a 1 day validity period. Which means, customers who want to give 3G a try, can experience it for the said time within 24 hours of subscribing to the pack.
Reduced Tariff: A 2GB 3G data plan, previously available for more than Rs. 750 is now available for just Rs 450 with a 30 day validity. Volume based browsing rates on 3G have also been reduced from 10p/10kb to 3p/10kb effective from 17th May 2012.
The response to 3G has been anything but overwhelming since its launch, owing to high tariffs. We feel, that with this move, 3G tariffs have been standardized, and make more sense. Aircel had also reduced data tariffs,recently. We’re waiting for other operators to follow suit. Airtel recently launched its 4G LTE service in Kolkata in April and Bangalore in May, which is being positioned as a premium service. So, the new tariffs will enable the company to position 3G services at the right price point.