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Airtel launches 3G booster packs to extend data validity

Airtel 4G

Airtel has introduced two 3G/4G recharge packs worth Rs 748 and Rs 1498 which offer 1GB data valid for 28 days. After this data limit has been reached, Airtel has 2 more packs priced at Rs 51 and Rs 99 for 1GB 3G/4G data without an expiry date, which can be “topped up” of sorts to the previous data pack. This can be done for 6-12 months. These plans are live in the Delhi circle currently and Airtel plans to roll out to other circles by the end of this month.

Airtel’s announcement comes a week after TRAI increased maximum of validity of all special tariff voucher (STV) recharge packs to 365 days in this month.

From a user point of view, these packs do not seem to offer anything new, other than the fact that a user is paying a huge sum for a 1GB data recharge to get a pseudo subsidy on the following Rs 51 and Rs 99 recharges. However, the subsidy is also not a real one, given that every time a user runs out of that allocated 1GB, they will have to recharge again, essentially spending Rs 561 (Rs 51 x 11 months) and Rs 1089 (Rs 99 x 11 months) yearly, if they use 1GB per month.

The Rs 748 and Rs 1498 “booster packs” basically extend the validity of a data recharge for up to 1 year, but that is it. Essentially, users will spend Rs 1309 (Rs 561 + Rs 748) and Rs 2587 (Rs 1089 + Rs 1498) over a period of 12 months, if those are the only data recharges they make.


In contrast, Idea offers 3G data recharges of Rs 7- 2,000 for 25MB to 20GB, while Vodafone offers 3G packs at Rs 14 to Rs 4000 for 40MB to 40GB in Delhi.

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Last month, Airtel had increased the data amount in its prepaid data packs. Notably, it increased validity of some other high value packs as well:
-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

Airtel, Idea revises data packs after Jio speculations

Reliance Jio is speculated to offer cheaper data/voice packs, and it already claims 1.5 million users on its test network. This has prompted a ‘tariff or price war’ in the telecom industry and a rather grim war between Jio and member operators of lobby telecom body COAI in the past months. Many operators have already resorted by cutting tariffs or increasing data validity and availability.

State owned telco BSNL last week announced that it will provide unlimited 3G Internet without any FUP or data usage restriction through an STV data recharge pack costing Rs 1099 (STV 1099), valid for 30 days.

Idea Cellular had also reduced the tariffs of its prepaid 2G, 3G and 4G internet packs across all circles:
– Idea’s 2G pack for Rs 19 and offering 75MB for 3 days validity now provides 110MB instead
– The 3G/4G pack costing Rs 22 for 65MB of data for 3 days now provides 90MB 3G data for the same validity.

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