It’s been an all out war between Jio and the other networks ever since Jio announced it’s tariffs and offers in September. The competition between the networks has only intensified with both sides slashing data rates to coming up with offers that would have been unimaginable before last year.
After Jio announced its paid services, the competition got to work again. This time Airtel and Idea scrapped roaming and made all incoming free for its customers everywhere. They individually announced Rs.350 plans to beat the most valuable Jio Rs.303 pack with a slew of benefits that seemed good at face value but was just another eyewash because of all the hidden terms and conditions, as you can see from the table below.
As you can see from the above table, Jio prepaid plans are way more beneficial than the plans by competitors who have firstly provided their offers to selected users only and to top it off have so many terms and conditions that one cannot even enjoy their benefits fully. There is only one go to for full paisa vasool lans, and that is Jio.
What about Postpaid users ? All offers are only for prepaid users?
The Prime offer by Jio took everyone in the industry by surprise especially since the plans were so affordable that everyone who considered discarding their Jio SIM after 31st March were now Prime members after paying just Rs.99 on their MyJio app. Competitor networks too were shaken by these offers and scrambled to put together plans that would seem just as affordable. But they failed to do so and has people questioning whether they just give these offers to counter Jio and never to actually understand and provide what their customers need.
The postpaid offer too have many such hidden terms and conditions like the prepaid ones that need to be highlighted. Let us review the comparison table of all these plans.
1. While it may seem like all 499 plans cost the same, on closer inspection you’ll find that Jio gives you 720GB worth of data, other networks give you 66GB and 51GB data respectively.
2. Literally no other postpaid plan gives you 360GB of data for Rs.3,636 a year.
3. All of these plans are limited to 3 months while Jio Prime has one year validity.
4. As this is a post paid service, you can incur a bill of Rs.4000/Gb and more if you keep using data beyond your daily FUP.
5. While the calling services in Jio are free for any of their basic plan, the services are otherwise chargeable and only begin to be free in the Airtel Higher price plans.
The incumbents have used the old trick of keeping rates the same but reducing the amount of data made available, raising the cost of data as much as 117 rupees per GB.
Are these offers available to all customers?
One of the things that stands out in all of these plans except Jio is the segmentation of users in the telecom which was never seen before. All of these plans are basically provided to high end customers in order to retain them and prevent them from going to other networks. So the plans are not meant for customers who might need the data but for people who already spend a lot on data i.e. the high ARPU customers.
Idea has now launched a new scheme called ‘Idea Select’ for both prepaid and postpaid customers that divides users based on their monthly billing. Idea Select Titanium, Idea Select Platinum, Idea Select Gold, and Idea Select Silver are the four plans introduced by the telco. Idea Select Titanium offers the most benefits and is While Jio has always maintained that data is a right and not a privilege, the segmentation of users by networks should and must be considered unethical. Everybody has a right to affordable data in a country pushing for a digital revolution and pursuing the dream of Digital India.
The people of India have a lot to gain in this tussle between telecos in what can only be described as a golden period for consumers. But they must choose wisely and not be fooled into believing misinformation spread by some networks whose only goal is to beat the competition.