India’s telecom sector is getting competitive by the day while more and more operators are waking up to the reality that consumers are in fact the king. Airtel is now providing free data of up to 3GB per month to new prepaid and postpaid users till December 31st 2017. Users who do not hold an Airtel connection can avail this offer by purchasing new SIMs until February 28th. The offer is valid for 4G users only, while existing Airtel users who haven’t onboarded onto the 4G network can also avail this offer.
For new prepaid users, Airtel will provide free 3GB of 4G data with every recharge of Rs 345 pack which comes with unlimited Local and STD calls and 1 GB of bundled data that comes with the pack. The pack will be valid for 28 days and can be availed for a maximum of 13 recharged till December 31 2017.
For new postpaid users, Airtel will provide 3GB of additional free data with all existing ‘MyPlan Infinity’ packs. For e.g. the Rs 549 Infinity pack will now provide unlimited STD/Local calls and 6GB of 4G data (3GB regular data + 3GB of free data). The Rs 799 Infinity plan will offer unlimited calling with 8 GB of 4G data (5 GB regular data + 3GB free data).
Comparing Airtel’s free data offer to Jio, it is clear that Jio still has an upper hand since it is offering free data and calls to existing as well as new users onboarding the network. Airtel’s free offer leaves out existing 4G users and will not stop then from either migrating to Jio or potentially holding a second Jio SIM.
Competition among top three operators v/s Jio
Just weeks after Jio extended its free data/calling offer up till March 2017, operators including Airtel, Idea and Vodafone recently launched unlimited calling packs with bundled data. These packs were in tune with Jio’s bundled packs between the Rs 140-350 range.
Also it is interesting to note that Airtel and Idea earlier mentioned earlier that it would start providing bundled packs once Jio ends its free welcome offer and starts charging users. However due to falling data and voice revenues, operators were forced to math Jio’s low cost packs with their own bundled packs, especially after the extension of Jio’s welcome offer.