Reliance Jio has rolled out for Jio Prime for consumers in India. Any existing Jio user can avail special data benefits available with Jio Prime by paying Rs 99 for one year.
The biggest change for Jio will be that consumers will have to pay to use its services, which is one of the main reason why they have over 100 million users in less than a year.
Jio has been quick to realise that nobody would be willing to pay more than Rs 300 to use its 4G internet, hence the data benefits are critical to their cause. Jio’s Prime move has been partially countered by its rivals Airtel and Vodafone in the past couple of days.
Airtel and Vodafone have already borne the brunt of Jio’s free services in the past two quarters, but they are willing to put all their eggs in one basket, just to fight it out with Jio.
We take a look at the latest plans rolled out by Airtel and Vodafone and whether these even up with Jio’s Prime offering and match up to the needs of users.
By subscribing to Jio Prime, existing Jio 4G users get 1GB per day for the next 12 months, and for this, all you have to pay is Rs 303. Those who aren’t part of the Jio family, and are keen on joining them post 1 April, their plans give as much as 2.5GB for a month at Rs 303.
Jio Prime is valid up to 28 days for prepaid users, while those who opt for postpaid get 30 days (billing cycle) validity.
Also, it is worth pointing out that, users who recharge on Jio with Rs 303 or Rs 499 plans before 31 March, get additional bonus data worth Rs 201 and Rs 301 respectively.
Airtel feels that a Rs 345 plan offering 28GB 4G data per month will satisfy its existing users. They have launched plans priced at Rs 345 and Rs 549, offering 28GB free data for the month, but with a catch.
For postpaid users, Airtel will offer free data to its users from 13 March onwards, which can be added to their quota from MyAirtel app. It is also possible that this plan may not be available to all Airtel users in the country.
But Airtel users can only avail of these data and voice benefits if they recharge their prepaid packs before 31 March.
Reports like these suggest that Vodafone is offering a Rs 346 prepaid plan for its users in select circles, which is why we have found it hard to locate the plan on the company’s website and mobile app. Unlike Airtel, Vodafone has been generous with its plan, without any caveats.
Compared to Airtel’s 31 March deadline, Vodafone has limited its benefits for those who recharge with this amount by 15 March this year.
Jio Prime or Stick to Airtel/Vodafone?
Going by the numbers and benefits on offer, Jio Prime trumps both Airtel and Vodafone. Jio’s giving free voice calls, no roaming and up to 56GB of data every month till March 2018.
Airtel and Vodafone are trying their best with a new set of plans to rival Reliance Jio but are still lagging behind. Also, the lack of clarification as to how Airtel and Vodafone will offers their packs leaves customers uncertain.
If Jio can get rid of all the voice connectivity troubles, we can see users switching their base from Airtel/Vodafone to Jio in the coming months.