Vodafone Idea (Vi) will now be offering prepaid users “unlimited” internet from midnight to 6am, the company announced on Tuesday. “Night binging on the Internet and OTT is on the rise, especially as people exercise flexible and remote working and spend more time consuming content. To cater to this demand, Vi has announced Unlimited high speed Night-time Data – without any restrictions, at no extra cost, for its prepaid customers from 12:00 am to 6:00 am on all Vi Unlimited Recharges of INR 249 and above,” Vi said in a press release. This will last till May 13, according to terms and conditions posted on Vi’s website.
This is probably the first time prepaid mobile users are getting a promise of “unlimited” high speed internet on prepaid plans. Vi and Vodafone before it have advertised Unlimited data (with unclearly defined prohibitions on commercial usage) for high-ARPU postpaid users, but not for prepaid users. “The provisions of this Offer may not be used for any commercial purpose by the Customer. VIL reserves the right to take back the Offer if it detects any fraudulent usage, or misuse of the service/promotional benefit,” the company said in terms and conditions for the offer. It is unclear how commercial usage would be detected.
Weekend data rollover
In addition to not metering data consumed between midnight and 6am, Vi says it will now roll over unused data from weekdays to the weekend, essentially giving users an incentive to consume less data during the workweek and splurging during the weekend. Airtel does a month-on-month version of this for postpaid users, as does Jio, but both telcos cap the overall amount of gigabytes that can be carried forward. Vi doesn’t need to do that since the theoretical maximum of data that can be carried forward from the workweek to the weekend is limited to the plans it sells, and after the weekend, the carried-over GBs expire if unused.
“The new initiative is also aimed at increasing stickiness to the network and attracting new users to our network,” Vi said. This plan is among the most significant consumer concessions made in a bid to compete so far, and that is reflected in the short duration for which it is initially set to run: while Vi reserves the right to shorten or extend the promotion, it is currently set to discontinue unlimited night data consumption on May 13, and weekend data rollover on April 17.