Anil Ambani owned Reliance Communications (RCOM) is providing unlimited calling plan at Rs 149 bundled with 300 MB of data valid for 30 days. The plan allows any RCOM subscribers on 2G/3G/4G to make unlimited free calls to any landline and cellular network pan-India including on STD. Subscribers can also make additional data recharges and still have unlimited calling live on their SIMs.
Competition and bundled plans
The unlimited calling pack by RCOM is a response to Jio’s threat which largely bets on bundled data packs. Jio is also providing a similar bundled pack starting at Rs 149 with 300 MB of 4G data along with unlimited calling. But what differentiates Jio from RCOM and every other telecom operator is that all of Jio’s tariff packs are bundled with data+free calls. This has pushed several other telecom operators to offer bundled plans:
-In this month, Vodafone India started testing unlimited local calling packs for Mumbai and Maharashtra subscribers bundled with data starting at Rs 297.
-In August Airtel unveiled unlimited free calls bundled with 1GB of 3G/4G starting at Rs 1599 in August for postpaid customers. Similar bundled calling plans with unlimited local/STD/ calls were then announced for prepaid cellular customers as well by September.
-In September, Aircel announced an unlimited calling plan costing Rs 449 with a validity for 29 days along with 500 MB data for UP East subscribers.
-In the same month, state owned telco BSNL also introduced an unlimited calling pack of Rs 1125 bundled with 1GB of 3G data, according to this TelecomTalk report.
During Q2 2016, RCOM reportedly lost 3.8 million data subscribers. This was the same quarter that Reliance Jio made its entry with free calls and data. RCOM’s Consumer Business CEO Gurdeep Singh admitted during an analyst call that it in fact lost some subscriber to Jio. Singh added that less than 10% of RCOM’s 4G subscribers using voice regularly “have reduced or dropped their data consumption dramatically.” The loss in subscribers is also attributed to the company’s migration from CDMA to 4G, which was carried out in early April.