The new Airtel Rs 2,498 prepaid recharge plan is now live on the telco’s website.
Last Updated: May 19, 2020, 11:57 AM IST
Airtel has launched a new prepaid plan for consumers looking for long-term validity. Priced at Rs 2,498 the plan offers a bunch of benefits including 2GB of daily data with a validity of 365 days. The plan also offers free Hello tunes and anti-virus protection for your smartphone. You also get free online courses for 28 days via Upskill with Shaw Academy.
Apart from the above benefits, customers get unlimited calls to any network, 100 SMS messages per day along with additional benefits like free Zee5 premium subscription, and Airtel Xstream Premium subscription. Customers also get Wynk Music prepaid subscription; and Rs. 150 cashback on FASTag.
Airtel also offers the Rs. 2,398 long-term validity pack which offers a similar validity of 365 days. This prepaid plan offers 1.5GB daily data, unlimited calls, and 100 SMS messages per day. It also offers similar additional benefits as the Rs. 2,498 prepaid plan including the 28-day free Upskill with Shaw Academy online courses. A similar Rs 1,498 prepaid plan also offers 365 days validity with unlimited calling and additional benefits, however, the data benefit is only 24GB in total, and SMS benefits include 3600 messages.
Reliance Jio offers a similar long term prepaid plan priced at Rs 2,399 offering 2GB of daily data with a validity of 365 days, unlimited calling to Jio numbers, 12,000 minutes of free calling to non-Jio numbers, 100 SMS per day and subscription to Jio apps.
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Prepaid plans with extensive data limits are literally our lifeline right now, as we continue to work from home in light of the Covid-19 pandemic. Data plans from Airtel, Vodafone and Reliance Jio are among the most in-demand entities on the internet, since each of us have seen an increase in data consumption as a result of all the conferences, video calls and the likes. Data consumption has seen a massive increase as a large number of people are relying on it for office work as well as keeping in touch with our near and loved ones. Having said that, the telecom operators, of late, have been offering quite a respite by rolling out special recharge packs to help meet our data requirements.
Here is a list of all the best-prepaid recharge packs with their price, data benefits, and validity from Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea, and Bharti Airtel.
Best Vodafone-Idea Prepaid Packs
Vodafone has rolled out various plans and all-rounder packs for its customers. The company is offering a prepaid recharge plan with a double data benefit for Rs 299. The pack comes with a 4GB data per day along with unlimited calling, 100 daily SMS for a validity of 28 days. The pack also includes a complimentary subscription to both Vodafone Play and ZEE5. The company also has two offers for Rs 449 and Rs 699 with a validity of 56 and 84 days respectively. It is important to note that both these plans also offer 4GB of data per day along with complimentary subscriptions Vodafone Play and ZEE5 as well.
On the other hand, users needing 2GB data per day can recharge with Rs 149 that has a validity of 28 days. This pack offers unlimited calls, 300 daily SMS, and complimentary benefits to both Vodafone Play and ZEE5.
However, if you don’t need 2GB data as well, then Vodafone also three recharge plan options for Rs 599, Rs 399, and Rs 299 that offer 1.5GB data per day for a validity of 84, 56, and 28 days respectively. These three plans offer 1.5GB Data per day, unlimited calls, 100 daily SMSes and complimentary subscriptions to Vodafone Play and ZEE5. There is a plan for customers who need 1GB data as well for Rs 219 that comes with a validity of 28 days. The pack offers unlimited calls, 100 SMS daily, complimentary benefits to Vodafone Play and ZEE5 as well.
Similarly, Vodafone also has a plan for Rs 379 that also offers 6GB of data, unlimited calls, 1000 daily SMS, and subscription to Vodafone Play and ZEE5 with an 84 days service validity. There are plans for high-end customers as well, with the company offering two prepaid recharge plans for Rs 1499 and Rs 2399. Both the pack comes with 1.5GB Data and 24GB Data per day, unlimited calling, 100 daily SMS for a validity of one year.
Best Reliance Jio Prepaid Packs
Just like Vodafone, Reliance Jio also is also offering a wide range of prepaid plans to recharge their phones with the most popular being for Rs 349 that offers 3GB daily data for a period of 28 days. The pack also has unlimited calling, 100 SMS per day, and a complimentary subscription to Jio apps. If you want lesser data, Jio has a Rs 249 monthly prepaid pack that offers 2GB data that comes with a validity for 28 days. The plan also offers unlimited voice calls to Jio-to-Jio and Jio to Non-Jio FUP of 1,000 minutes. The pack also provides 100 SMSes per day and comes along with a free subscription to various entertainment apps. The Rs 249 has a validity of 28 days. The other plan that offers 2GB data per day is the Rs 444 prepaid plan. The plan offers Jio-to-Jio unlimited calling benefits, Jio to Non-Jio FUP of 1,000 minutes. This prepaid plan has a validity of 56 days and it also provides 100 SMSes per day along with a subscription to various streaming apps. The third plan in line is the Rs 555 plan that offers 2GB data per day, 100smses per day, Jio-to-Jio unlimited calling benefits but it has a validity of 84 days.
Under the 1.5GB Data/day Packs, Jio has four prepaid plans for Rs 199, Rs 399, Rs 555, and Rs 2121 with a validity for 28, 56, 84 and 226 days. The company also has “Affordable Packs” plans for Rs 129 and Rs 1299 respectively with a validity for 28 and 336 days respectively. The Rs 129 pack offers 2GB of data, Jio to Jio unlimited calls, 300 SMS per day, and complimentary subscription for a period of 28 days. For the other plan of Rs 1299 under the “Affordable Packs”, users will get Jio to Jio unlimited calls, 300 daily SMS, 2GB of daily data, and a free subscription to Jio apps. The pack will be valid for 336 days. Similarly, Jio has one “Long Term” pack for high-end users for Rs 4,999 for a period of 360 days. The pack comes with unlimited Jio to Jio unlimited calls, 100 daily SMS, and 350GB data. The Jio plan comes with 12,000 minutes of calling from Jio to Non-Jio phones. Like all other plans, it comes with a complimentary subscription to Jio Apps. After the 350GB of high-speed data, browsing speed comes down to 64Kbps.
Best Airtel Prepaid Packs
Airtel is offering a pack for Rs 398 with a data validity of 28 days. The pack includes unlimited local, STD and roaming calls, 100 daily SMS etc. If you want lesser data, then the company is also offering a range of prepaid packs for Rs 149, Rs 179, and Rs 298. All these three packs offer 2GB of daily data, unlimited calls and complimentary subscription to ZEE5 and Airtel Xtreme Premium. There is another plan for Rs 349 that also offers 2GB of data, unlimited calls, complimentary subscriptions to Amazon Prime and ZEE5 for a period of 28 days. If you want even lesser, Airtel has two prepaid plans for Rs 249 and Rs 279 that offer 1.5GB of data as well as a subscription to ZEE 5 and Airtel Xtreme as well. Users subscribing to the Rs 279 plan will also get life insurance worth Rs 4 lakh. Airtel also has a prepaid plan for customers needing 1GB of daily data services. The pack which is valid for 28 days, offers unlimited calls, 100 national SMSes per day, and a complimentary subscription to Airtel Xtreme and Zee5. The Rs. 219 is the cheapest plan amongst the other plans that come with 28 days’ validity.
Just like Vodafone and Jio, Airtel also offers packs for its high-end users as well. For instance, there are two packs for Rs 1498 and Rs 2398. The Rs 1498 offers unlimited calling, 3600 SMSes, and 24GB data for 365 days. The Rs 2398 plan offers unlimited calling, 100 SMSes per day, and 1.5 GB per day under this plan that is a revised version of the Rs 1699 plan.
Depending on which plan you pick, Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone are bundling subscriptions for Amazon Prime, Netflix, Zee5 and even their own content-rich streaming apps.
A recent Ovum-Amdocs report on the state of OTT services in India suggested that as many as 50% of users are willing to pay for premium media services via their carrier bill if offered at a discount or with an extended free trial. Cellcos are tripping over themselves to bundle Netflix, Amazon Video, Zee5 and more with your bill plan or prepaid recharge.
Last Updated: February 26, 2020, 12:43 PM IST
Time to Netflix and chill? It turns out, you may not have to pay even a single rupee for subscriptions to video streaming services if you play your cards right. Actually, play your postpaid mobile bill plan or prepaid mobile recharge properly, and you could save a lot of money in the process. And yet not compromise even one bit on the entertainment portfolio. That is because Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone are bundling subscriptions for video streaming platforms including Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Zee5 and more with the postpaid bill plans as well as prepaid recharge packs. You might want to pay attention to this and reconfigure your prepaid or postpaid plan to get the best value.
Here is how much you will save, if you get the bundled subscriptions for video streaming platforms with your mobile prepaid and postpaid plans. The Hotstar VIP subscription costs Rs 365 per year while the Hotstar Premium subscription costs Rs 299 per month or Rs 999 per year. Amazon charges Rs 129 per month or Rs 999 per year for the Prime subscription that also includes Amazon Video. Netflix subscription options start at Rs 499 per month for the basic HD subscription going all the way up to Rs 799 per month for the 4K HDR plan—though you have a mobile only plan for Rs 199 per month but that’s just too limiting anyway. Sony Liv charges Rs 499 per year for the premium pack, while Zee5 will cost Rs 999 per year for the All Access Pack. Now that would be a lot of money saved, wouldn’t it?
This is what you mobile plan can get you
Let us give you a snapshot of what is available with each mobile connection, be it prepaid or postpaid. If you have a Reliance Jio subscription, with any prepaid and postpaid plan for the Jio mobile service, you get bundled subscription for a complete range of apps that include Jio TV and Jio Cinema. That is a lot of content to consume, including Live TV which no rival does as well, though Airtel comes close. Speaking of which, Airtel is bundling the Amazon Prime subscription for a year which includes the Prime Video streaming platform, Zee5 and the Airtel Xstream premium video streaming app as part of the Airtel Thanks rewards for postpaid users. Interestingly enough, the Airtel Prime subscription option is available only on the Rs 249 prepaid recharge pack. Vodafone offers subscription to Amazon Prime as well as Vodafone Play and Zee5 platforms with all postpaid plans above Rs 499. The Vodafone REDX premium postpaid plan which costs Rs 999 per month gets the additional benefit of Netflix bundle as well along with a lot of other benefits. All Vodafone prepaid plans bundle Vodafone Play and Zee5 subscriptions.
Reliance Jio: Jio TV and Jio Cinema offer a world of entertainment
Let us start with Reliance Jio first. The Jio TV app is available for Android and iOS platforms, and is perhaps your best choice if you want to watch Live TV without actually needing a DTH or cable TV subscription—there are more than 500 Live channels on board, which includes more than 60 HD channels. As we said before, no other Live TV app in India comes close to the sort of variety and extensive channel options that Jio TV offers. Be it English or Hindi entertainment, news, Live sports, infotainment, music and more, all possible channels covering almost all Indian languages are available—Colors, Star Plus, Sony, Zee TV, &TV, Star Gold, Sony Max, Zee Cinema, Star Movies, HBO HD, Star Sports channels in HD, Sony sports channels in HD, Discovery HD World as well as some value-adds such as the Jio Sports channels. Watching Live sports, including cricket matches, just becomes incredibly more convenient than having to jump from app to app. And that is before we get to the Jio Cinema app—this has an extensive library of Movies and TV shows, including the exclusive Disney content that includes Star Wars, Iron Man and Avengers franchises. Jio Cinema is available for Android, iOS, Android TV and the Amazon Fire TV Stick platforms.
India likes the convenience
A recent Ovum-Amdocs report on the state of OTT services in India suggested that 47% subscribers less likely to switch service providers if they get their preferred OTT streaming services. At the same time, 30% of respondents would not mind switching to another operator if their current operator doesn’t offer their preferred streaming subscriptions. In India, the biggest video streaming services include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, Sony Liv, Voot, Zee 5 and Eros Now. The report also suggests that as many as 50% of users are willing to pay for premium media services via their carrier bill if offered at a discount or with an extended free trial. The report did throw up a rather interesting set of statistics. It turns out that Sony Liv gets 50% of its total subscriptions from bundles with mobile, broadband or TV bills. That is the most for any streaming service in India, with Voot in second with 38% while Zee5 follows at 34%. Amazon Prime, which includes the Amazon Prime Video streaming service, gets 25% of its total subscriptions from media bundles—though it is quite commonly found in tariff plans offered by Airtel and Vodafone Idea. For some reason, the survey calculates Amazon Prime’s conversion separately at 15%, but it would be prudent to add the 25% and 15% together under one umbrella. Netflix gets just 19% of its subscribers from media bundles.
Airtel: Are you on prepaid or postpaid?
If you are an Airtel subscriber, postpaid plans have the better bundles—these plans are priced upwards of Rs 499. You get a one-year subscription for Prime Video streaming platform as well as access to premium content on Zee5 and the Airtel Xstream premium video streaming app. In fact, the Airtel Xstream app has more than 10,000 movies on board, TV shows as well as content from a variety of platforms under one roof—these include ZEE5, Hungama, Eros Now, HOOQ, ShareIt, YouTube, ShemarooMe, Ultra, Curiosity Stream. Airtel Xstream app also has Live TV including HD channels. You can access the Airtel Xstream app on Android as well as iOS devices. Airtel prepaid plans which start at Rs 129 for 28-days validity offer Airtel Xstream subscriptions, though only the Rs 349 plan with 28-days validity also bundles the Amazon Prime subscription.
Vodafone: The Vodafone REDX gets it all
For Vodafone, if you are a prepaid subscriber, you will get the Vodafone Play subscription as well as premium content from Zee5 with all unlimited recharge packs. The Vodafone Play app gives you access to more than 450 Live TV channels as well as more than 15,000 movies on the platform. Vodafone says the Play content includes movies and TV shows from ZEE5, SonyLIV, Lionsgate Play, Eros Now, Shemaroo Me, Hoichoi, Sun NXT, Hungama, Discovery and Yupp TV. Now that’s out of the way, let us look at the slight complexity that the postpaid plans offer. The entry spec Rs 399 Vodafone RED plan also only offers Vodafone Play and premium Zee5 content. But for the Vodafone RED plan Rs 499 and more, there is the additional sweetener of the Amazon Prime subscription worth Rs 999. However, the flagship Vodafone REDX plan which costs Rs 999 per month gets you one year of Netflix subscription worth Rs 5,998 per year as well, among other advantages such as complimentary international roaming packs and airport lounge access.
Bharti Airtel has a bunch of announcements about the International Roaming (IR) option for prepaid and postpaid users. And it is all great news if you are one of those absent-minded folks who inevitably forget to activate an international roaming pack ahead of the travels and panic as your flight is about to take off. Airtel says that prepaid and postpaid users across all telecom circles in India will be able to pre-book IR packs which will get activated on the date of travel. Airtel prepaid customers can activate an IR pack up to 30 days before the date of travel, and it will only get activated when they eventually connect to a mobile network in the country they are traveling to.
Airtel has also launched new IR global packs for prepaid and postpaid users in India. The prepaid users can choose from two new packs, under the Travel Basics umbrella. The first pack is priced at Rs 1199 and bundles 1 GB data, 100 minutes of incoming and outgoing calls to India and host country, unlimited incoming SMS and has a validity of 30 days. The second pack is priced at Rs 799 and bundles 100 minutes of incoming and outgoing calls to India and host country, unlimited incoming SMS and also has a validity of 30 days. Do note that the Rs 799 plan doesn’t bundle any data. Both of these new Travel Basics IR plans for prepaid users are ideal if you are not a heavy data user in particular or may be relying more on Wi-Fi connectivity at the destination country.
Airtel postpaid users can now also choose from the new Rs 4999 plan, called Travel Unlimited. This bundles 1 GB data per day as well as unlimited incoming calls, 500 minutes of outgoing calls to India and host country, unlimited incoming SMS and has a validity of 10 days.
While these new IR packs for Airtel prepaid and postpaid users are global packs, it may be prudent to check if your destination country is covered by these international roaming packs before activating these ahead of the travels abroad. You will also be able to check the exact consumption of your IR pack bundles via the Airtel Thanks app for Android and iPhones. Airtel also says that once a pack’s bundled data is exhausted, data services would be barred to protect against unwanted charges—and data tends to be very expensive on international roaming. The company says that prepaid and postpaid users will have the option of adding a new IR pack or a top-up to their plan, from the Airtel Thanks app.
If smartphone and internet users in India get bundled subscriptions for their favorite streaming services with their mobile or broadband connections, they do not mind paying more for the convenience. In fact, 44% of mobile and broadband subscribers spend more on a higher tariff plan tier because it may have more OTT video streaming subscriptions bundled, suggests the latest Ovum-Amdocs survey.
The link between streaming service subscriptions and mobile as well as broadband connections runs even deeper, with 47% subscribers less likely to switch service providers if they get their preferred OTT streaming services. At the same time, 30% of respondents would not mind switching to another operator if their current operator doesn’t offer their preferred streaming subscriptions. In India, the biggest video streaming services include Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, Sony Liv, Voot, Zee 5 and Eros Now. The report also suggests that as many as 50% of users are willing to pay for premium media services via their carrier bill if offered at a discount or with an extended free trial.
As many as 4,000 consumers were surveyed in India, Australia, Singapore, Philippines and Thailand, of which more than half were from India itself. ““Our research shows that this market is willing to spend even more on their monthly telecom bill in exchange for the right bundle, with the right offer, at the right price point,” says Pankaj Lamba, Customer Business Executive, APAC, Amdocs. “India is one of the hottest markets for OTT media services and carrier-OTT partnerships in the region, registering the strongest retention and user acquisition potential from bundling,” says Guillermo Escofet, Principal Analyst, Ovum.
With as many as 7 leading OTT video streaming platforms available in India, the Ovum-Amdocs survey suggests that Indians prefer to subscribe to more than one video streaming service. As many as 42% subscribers pay for more than one video streaming service because they feel no one streaming platform offers all the content they want. At the same time, 56% of respondents also said they need to subscribe to multiple options between the likes of Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Hotstar, Sony Liv, Voot, Zee 5 and Eros Now because every member of the family likes different content.
The report does throw up some very interesting stats. Sony Liv gets 50% of its total subscriptions from bundles with mobile, broadband or TV bills. That is the most for any streaming service in India, with Voot in second with 38% while Zee5 follows at 34%. Amazon Prime, which includes the Amazon Prime Video streaming service, gets 25% of its total subscriptions from media bundles—though it is quite commonly found in tariff plans offered by Airtel and Vodafone Idea. For some reason, the survey calculates Amazon Prime’s conversion separately at 15%, but it would be prudent to add the 25% and 15% together under one umbrella. Netflix gets just 19% of its subscribers from media bundles.
The Ovum-Amdocs survey perhaps raises a very important shortcoming in the Indian OTT video streaming ecosystem—the lack of a pay-per-view option. As many as 69% of those surveyed would not mind paying for a specific content, instead of a full month of subscription. That stems from the fact that Indians on an average pay Rs 306 per month for video streaming services. “The maximum consumers would willingly pay for a monthly online video subscription is: Rs 50-200 (22%); Rs 201-400 (30%); Rs 401-600 (22%); Rs 600-800 (12%); Rs 800 (7%),” says the survey.
But what about the data that streaming apps may get access to, perhaps for targeted advertising, in return for offering services at a possible discount? As many as 70% consumers wouldn’t mind paying less for a service, even if they have to sit through adverts. About 16% users are okay with sharing personal data if it isn’t personally identifiable. But 12% consumers are very clear that they don’t want to share any personal data, even if that means sitting through adverts.
The media bundling scenario in India has become quite popular over the past year. For instance, Airtel with its prepaid mobile, postpaid mobile and Xstream home broadband and Vodafone with its prepaid and postpaid mobile bill plans, have been bundling subscriptions to services such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Zee5 and more. The advantage for operators is that it allows them to offer upgraded tariff plans to users, which in turn result in better average revenue per user (ARPU) stats. This also increases data consumption and allows service providers to position themselves as more than just telecom companies.
For OTT streaming services, this is a great opportunity to get more subscribers on board, while spending significantly lower in terms of subscriber acquisition costs. They also get better retention figures, as a subscriber is likely to stay as an active subscriber for longer if the subscription is bundled. OTT companies don’t need to pay for advertising, and they can attempt to crack newer markets.
The Vodafone Rs 99 prepaid recharge pack is currently available in Kolkata, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, UP East, UP West and West Bengal circles.
The Vodafone Rs 99 prepaid recharge pack is currently available in Kolkata, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, UP East, UP West and West Bengal circles.
After the complete reconfiguration of the prepaid recharge packs just a bit more than a month ago, Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone-Idea have been adding new recharge options since. What once felt like a much-needed clean-up of the fairly confusing recharge options, Vodafone Idea has reverted to type since. The operator has now added two new prepaid options for its subscribers. The first is the Rs 555 prepaid recharge option which offers 70 days validity, the one and only pack in the Vodafone line-up to offer this specific validity period. And at the same time, there is a new Rs 99 pack as well, which offers 18 days validity.
If you recharge with the Rs 555 pack, you’ll get unlimited local, STD and national roaming voice calls, as well as 1.5GB data per day. Bundled with this pack are also the Zee5 subscription and the Vodafone Play subscriptions. This plan is available only in select circles, though we won’t be surprised if Vodafone makes this available across India in the coming weeks. The Vodafone Rs 555 prepaid recharge sits between the Rs 449 plan with 56 days validity that offers 2GB data per day as well as unlimited national voice calls and the Rs 599 recharge pack that has 84 days validity offering 1.5GB data per day and unlimited national voice calls.
The Vodafone Rs 99 prepaid recharge pack is currently available in Kolkata, Odisha, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, UP East, UP West and West Bengal circles. The validity period for this is 18 days, and what you get are unlimited national voice calls as well as a total of 1GB data for the validity period.
The competition between Reliance Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea is tough. Reliance Jio has the 2020 Happy New Year Offer that allows users one-year service validity at Rs 2020 with 1.5GB data per day and a 12,000 minute FUP on calls outside the Jio network. Airtel also is offering a cashback on the purchase of a new FASTag with certain prepaid recharge packs.