Airtel, Vodafone Post-Paid Customers To Get More Discounts

As Reliance Jio sets off to deliver its services, other telecom giants, Airtel and Vodafone have announced the introduction of new post-paid plans which will give them more value for their money.

In a press statement from Airtel, on WhatsApp and other social media apps, they have mentioned, “Airtel is also planning some new plans for its post-paid users. You will be hearing about the new plans very soon.” They also mentioned in detail, their analysis of the Reliance Jio offers, where they made it clear, that Reliance’s claims are more of gimmicks, than actual value additions.

Airtel explained, “There is no such plan as Rs. 50/GB in Jio. The lowest rate that Jio is offering is Rs. 67/GB, that too in a monthly plan of Rs. 4,999, which is very expensive. Moreover, for the same you need to buy a 4G compatible handset, which is very costly. Also, if you use your mobile services for voice, you need to spend a minimum Rs. 150 for using voice services, which is very expensive. If you use your mobile services for data then you need to spend minimum Rs. 500.”

This further reinforces that only higher spenders on mobile connections actually stand to benefit from Reliance Jio plans. On a objective note, when an user, who has a monthly budget of Rs 50 for a top-up plan so that he/she can stay connected with family, the lowest he/she would be able to start with is the RS 149 plan from Reliance’s staple. While it dishes out unlimited voice calls, there is only 300 MB of data, but even for this, there are cheaper options in the market, thus taking out a chunk section of the customer base.

For those looking into the fine-print of what Jio services are beginning, it is almost clear, that Reliance is essentially trying to bring in all the 4G and voice users, on to the 4G LTE networks. Not all 4G handsets in the market, support the LTE technology, which is what the Reliance network is about.

In order to fully reap the benefits of Reliance’s data plans, one needs a device which is compatible with both 4G and LTE, and hopefully the cheapest device out there, combining both these technologies, is worth Rs 3000. While the penetration rates for 4G LTE is still low, right now, there would not be many problems on a daily basis, with good call quality and connectivity, but with them, when the SIM cards start being used and the Reliance network is pressurized, the real capability and service quality will be put to the test.

The other issue Airtel pointed out, is the ‘fall-back’ option, which Jio 4G does not seem to have. In continuation of the press statement, they said “It is worth noting here that Jio does not offer you fallback option.

This means, at a place where 4G coverage is not there, you would not be able to use Jio services. Whereas in Airtel, in case 4G network is weak/ not available in a place or your handset is not 4G compatible, you may still enjoy the services on the 3G/2G network. Would also like to inform that voice services for Jio are experiencing high congestion and since you are a high-value customer this will impact your business. We would also like to reassure you that Airtel has the best network and data speeds across the country.”

In other words, it means that when you are in an area where the Reliance Jio 4G signals are not strong enough, your SIM may just be useless for that period, until you arrive at a location when the signals come back on. In the case of other operators, if the 4G does not work, you atleast have 3G/2G service to rely back on, but not in the case of Jio.

While Reliance Jio 4G may not have been as polished a final product, it does wake up the other competitors in the industry, to provide the ‘extra-bit’ to the consumer, in terms of better value for money. What would determine the success of Reliance Jio 4G is the final service quality across voice and data services, especially in the medium and long-term.

What this also would bring attention to, is the upcoming spectrum auction for telecoms, where Reliance would be looking to gather the best possible band of waves, so that service quality is maintained, if not improved, from it’s previous venture into the area in 2002.

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