It’s Airtel chasing Jio again, and this time, the war is to take the crown for best and cheapest monthly plan that offers unlimited calling.
The cheapest monthly plan that you can use with Jio comes at Rs 149 while Airtel’s cheapest plan to offer unlimited calling is available at a recharge of Rs 199.
Both the plans are valid for 28 days and offer unlimited calling and free 4G data. But there are rules and restrictions to the usage of these plans that the companies don’t clearly mention in their listing.Read more ↓
On the other hand, for Rs 199, Airtel offers 1 GB 4G data and unlimited voice calls to any network local and STD or national roaming. It doesn’t bundle free messages with the pack.
But both plans have their limitations to data and calls. Despite being tagged unlimited, calling is not truly limitless on these packs. And what happens after the bundled data expires? Let’s take a look.
Jio offers 2GB data compared to 1GB on Airtel. But not only does Airtel offer half the data amount offered by Jio, it will also charge you after your data reserve is finished, like it happens with every other Airtel data pack.
After 1GB data is used up on your connection, Airtel deducts from your main balance instead of throttling down speeds. If you miss out on the limit warning, you pay heavily for the data used after the bundled data gets used up.
Jio on the other hand has renewed its policy. After 2GB data is used, the internet speed it throttled to 64kbps. The internet still works but it is very slow. Yet you are not charged on your main balance. This is the reason it calls unlimited internet and separately mentions the data limit in the ‘high speed data’ category.
Both companies offer top-up plans if you want more high speed data, but that of Airtel would look more irrational to a casual user. It is either a 45MB top-up at Rs 9, or Rs 51 top-up for 1GB data, that last one day.
While Jio at Rs 19 offers 200MB data, valid for a day or at Rs 49 offers 600MB data for three days.
On an average, data consumed by a person in India is around 30-40 MB per day.
Both companies explicitly state that these plans come with unlimited calling on any network throughout India. Which means, you should be able to talk as much as you want as long as you are within the pack validity date. But that is not true.
Airtel’s 199 pack has a 300 minutes of talktime limit per day. There is also a weekly limit of 1200 minutes that you can use in the unlimited plan.
You may think there is no such limitation on Jio, but there are reports surfacing now that there is in fact a limit to the number of calls you can make on you Jio SIM. But Jio doesn’t enforce it on all users.
As per terms and conditions page on Jio.com website, the limit of 300 minutes per day is to keep in check the commercial usage of the unlimited plan. “Calling to 100 unique MSIDNs in a rolling 7 day period will also constitute commercial usage” it states.
As on August 2017, Jio was able to add 60 lakh customers in the previous quarter, 60 per cent of the total addition in the overall mobile subscriber base in the country. As it completed one year since it went public with the operations, Jio has created a user base of 130 million, shortest in the history of growth of any telecom company, thanks to its free data and calling schemes.
Recently, High Court refused to put a stay on TRAI’s decision to cut IUC charges by 57 per cent, which could further dwindle the revenues of other telecom operators and raise revenues for Jio. IUC charges are paid by service provider in whose network the call originates to the service provider in whose network the call terminates. Jio has an Ebitda (earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation) margin of 11 per cent, which could double in the coming years if the IUC are cut.
Jio’s competitive pricing has already taken a toll on Idea, Airtel and Vodafone and forced them to cut tarrifs. Coupled to Goods and Services Tax and a depleting subscriber base, IUC could push telecom operators to the brink of heavy losses in no time.
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