Reliance Jio has transformed the mobile data landscape in India. After revolutionizing voice calls over a decade ago, Reliance has once again changed the way people consume mobile data. This time around, though, the company’s offerings cover multiple points.
Not only is Reliance Jio offering affordable unlimited 4G data, but voice is always free on its network. Coupled with a superior VoLTE experience, this has hit the incumbent operators where it hurts them the most. Airtel’s profits are drastically down year-on-year, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular have reached a merger deal.
To combat Jio’s unlimited data plans, incumbent operators have been rolling out their own plans. While they all don’t offer VoLTE or truly unlimited voice calls just yet, there are some competitive options on the table. We look at the best offerings of all operators, including the state-run BSNL.
Starting off with the newest operator on the block, Reliance Jio has revamped its Dhan Dhana Dhan offerings, giving users some more options at a couple of new price points.
Initially, Reliance Jio launched the Dhan Dhana Dhan plan with two offers – Rs. 309 and Rs. 509. They both offered 1GB and 2GB 4G data per day respectively for 84 days. Under its new Dhan Dhana Dhan offers, Reliance Jio has reduced the validity of the Rs. 309 and Rs. 509 plans to 56 days from 84 days.
The company has launched a new Rs. 399 plan with 84 days validity, 1GB data per day with unlimited voice calls and SMS.
For all the plans, Jio Prime membership is required. It costs Rs. 99 and is valid for one year.
Airtel has recently launched a new plan to compete with Reliance Jio’s Rs. 399 plan.
The new Rs. 399 plan from Airtel offers 84GB high-speed 4G data, with 1GB data per day. It also offers unlimited local and STD calls, but this comes with a FUP of its own. Airtel’s terms and conditions say that free voice calls are limited to 1000 minutes per week. Beyond that limit, Airtel-to-Airtel calls will cost Rs. 0.10 per minute, while calls to other networks will cost Rs. 0.30 per minute.
The plan does not offer any free SMS, unlike Reliance Jio.
Airtel also has a cheaper Rs. 244 plan that offers 1GB data per day for 70 days, but free voice calls are limited only to the Airtel network. There are no free SMSs in this plan as well.
Coming to Vodafone, the company has some different plans for different circles. The operator recently announced a new Campus Survival Kit offer that gives 1GB data per day for 84 days. Unlimited voice calls and free roaming are also included in this offer.
However, it comes with a big rider – this offer is restricted only to Delhi/NCR at the moment for students. Additionally, it is also applicable only for new connections. Initially, this plan will cost Rs. 445. Subsequent recharges will cost Rs. 352 and offer the same benefits.
Vodafone has revealed that this offer will be rolled out to other circles as well, but it will remain restricted to students for some reason.
Vodafone also has a Rs. 244 plan, but this is applicable as a First Recharge Coupon only. It gives 1GB data per day for 70 days and unlimited calls. Subsequent recharges will offer similar benefits but come with only 35 days validity.
Idea also has some plans to compete with other operators. Currently, the company is offering a bunch of offers with 1GB data per day benefits, alongside free voice calls.
Idea has launched a Rs. 396 plan with 1GB data per day and unlimited voice call, but for this, you’d require to be a user in the Himachal Pradesh circle and have a 4G-enabled smartphone.
On its website, the company has listed a number of plans with 1GB data per day benefits. There is a Rs. 349 plan that comes with 28 days validity, but offers no free SMSs. There is a Rs. 357 plan with similar benefits and validity, in addition to 10 free SMSs.
For more details about Idea’s offers, you may have to download the My Idea app for offers tailored for your number and telecom circle.
BSNL too is offering several plans with high-speed data benefits.
The state-run telco is offering STV 395 plan with 2GB data per day, 3000 minutes of BSNL-to-BSNL calls and 1800 minutes to other networks. It comes with a validity of 56 days.
The operator also has STV 333 that offers 2GB data per day for 56 days.
There’s another plan that offers 4GB data per day for 90 days. It costs Rs. 444 and is available in all telecom circles except Kerala.
Lastly, for users who want even more data, there’s a Rs. 548 plan that offers 5GB data per day for 90 days.
Prices may slightly vary in different circles.
Reliance Jio has the simplest offering compared to all operators. Thanks to its pan-India 4G license and transparent offerings, all Reliance Jio users can subscribe to any plan listed on the company’s website without worrying about their telecom circle. Additionally, it is the only operator that offers truly unlimited voice calls and SMS (with a TRAI-mandated 100 SMS/day limit).
Airtel comes in second, thanks to its newly launched offers. There’s a lot of room for improvement in Vodafone, Idea and BSNL’s offerings. The complexity and price variations from circle to circle can be very confusing.