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Idea cuts data pack tariffs while Airtel increases data amount for prepaid users

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Mobile operator Idea Cellular has reduced the tariffs of its prepaid 2G, 3G and 4G internet packs across all circles. Changes that Idea has made:

– Idea’s 2G pack for Rs 19 and offering 75MB for 3 days validity will now provide 110MB instead
– The 3G/4G pack costing Rs 22 for 65MB of data for 3 days will provide 90MB 3G data for the same validity.

Airtel, on the other hand, has increased the data amount in its prepaid data packs:

– The 3G/4G pack costing Rs 655 and offering 3GB data will now provide 5GB instead for a month.
– The 3G/4G pack for Rs 455 will offer 3GB instead of the previous 2GB, while the Rs 989 pack will offer 10GB instead of the previous 6.5GB.
– The 2G sachet pack for Rs 25 will offer 145MB, up 45MB from the previous offer.
– The 3G/4G pack for Rs 145 will offer 580MB, as opposed to the previous 440MB.
– The 2G pack costing Rs 5 will offer 30MB of data, up from the previous 10-15MB.

Airtel’s ‘Happy Hours’ lets prepaid users schedule downloads in 3-5AM

Airtel’s new ‘Happy Hours’ initiative will let all of its prepaid users “schedule” in-app content downloads from 3-5AM to get 50% of their data back. For example, if a user schedules a 100MB video download in this time, 50MB of data will be credited to their account after 6AM every day. A user can only download MBs within their data pack in the pack’s validity duration. In case a user downloads 150MB on a 100MB data pack between 3-5AM, it is likely that they will be charged for the 50MB through their balance, while 50MB will still be credited into their account.

As of now, YouTube and Fastfilmz Apps have integrated Happy Hours into their products, and Airtel plans to add more partners in the future (timeline not mentioned). On YouTube, users can choose the ‘Smart Offline’ and ‘Save overnight with Airtel Happy Hours’ options to save a video between 3-5AM. App developers can integrate Happy Hours into their apps from an API integration kit on signing up here.

Happy Hours is applicable for all regular prepaid data packs, except “discounted night data packs like double data packs.” If a user does not have an internet data pack, they will be charged 0.4 paise per 10kb during 3-5AM. We’ve asked Airtel for a clarification on if this is 0.4 paise or 4 paise. As of now, it is also unclear if the user can download more than their allotted data, and we’ve asked for a statement on this as well.

Whose onus is it to improve customer experience?
Airtel states that Happy Hours may help in moving some “non-urgent data traffic to non-peak hours and help reduce congestion.” Here, users should remember that it is not the user’s onus to help a telco move and manage its data traffic, but really the telco’s responsibility to add or fix current infrastructure for its paying customers to provide them a better service.

By volume, Vodafone, Airtel and Idea Cellular are India’s top 3 telecom service providers. In February, the three of them together added 3.95 million active connections, accounting for 66% of active connections, and 52% of total active added connections.

Also read:
YouTube users can save videos offline using their cheaper night data packs on Airtel, Telenor
Over 680,000 Idea customers are using 4G services

Our Idea and Airtel coverage.

Image Credit: Armando Alves under CC BY 2.0

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