News & Analysis

To compete Airtel, Idea slashed mobile data rate again

Idea Cellular nowadays are happy on customers, on July 18th, they slashed mobile data rates second time this month. This time to complete with Bharti Airtel.

On the other hand, Bharti Airtel on July 17th, announced plans to offer prepaid customers as much as 67 percent more data for the same fees. Idea Cellular has now slashed the rates of its 4G, 3G Internet packs by up to 67 percent, providing more value to heavy Internet users who consume data packs of 2GB to 10GB. Earlier last week, Idea had announced the price reduction by 45 percent for light Internet users (below 1GB).

Reliance Jio may launch high-speed data and 4G voice services as early as August. Reliance Jio is already offering services for a limited number of users on a trial basis, integrating spectrum and testing the network. Jio, which has 1.5 million customers in its beta tests, may offer high-speed data at very low price or may bundle free voice calls to lure users in the world’s second-largest smartphone market.

While the company initially offered 4G SIM cards bundled with its Lyf smartphones, priced at as low as Rs. 2,999, Jio is offering services with Samsung phones and may expand it to include iPhones in near future.

(Also Read: How To Get & Activate Free Reliance Jio 4G Sim For Samsung Galaxy Users)

Jio is offering 90 days of free unlimited 4G mobile Internet and voice calling in the SIM cards.


Airtel stock slipped 4 percent to close at Rs. 363.45 on BSE, while Idea shares declined 6.5 percent to close at Rs. 103.90. Reliance Industries’ fell 0.82 percent to close at Rs. 1,004.25.

Idea is now offering 10GB 4G, 3G data pack for just Rs. 990. Idea’s 2GB data is now priced at just Rs. 349, as against the earlier price of Rs. 449. Idea users will now get 5GB of 4G, 3G data at just Rs. 649 – a 67 percent more value than 3GB data earlier. Idea said that the reduced tariff for prepaid users have gone live across all Idea 4G and 3G provider circles, and postpaid rollout is underway. Idea has also launched new Freedom Packs, which are low-cost data packs starting at just Rs. 35 with four weeks’ validity.

While data benefits announced by Airtel and Idea are more or less similar (both are offering similar amount of bonus data to customers), Airtel’s monthly pack is priced marginally higher than Idea.

On Sunday, Bharti Airtel increased benefits on select prepaid data recharge packs and sachet packs by offering up to 25-67 percent more data at the same price. In 4G/3G new monthly pack, Airtel is packing-in 40-67 percent more data. In the Sachet Packs category, the company is offering 32-48 percent more data for the same price. Meanwhile, Airtel has also announced enhancement of 4G capacity in Bangalore. It is the only company at present that operates 4G services in 2 spectrum bands – 1800MHz and 2300MHz.

Players like Airtel and Idea have upped the ante in mobile data pricing ahead of the upcoming commercial launch by Reliance Jio. The company recently said it has over 1.5 million test users on its network although it did not specify a launch date for its commercial operations. Reliance Jio, which is gearing up to launch its 4G services, had also said that during the recently-concluded quarter, it extended its trial services to all Lyf devices users under the Jio Lyf Preview Offer.

Reliance said that testing of all the services to customers outside the initial set of test users is enabled, and added that the feedback has been encouraging.

On the other side, Bharti Airtel is offering extra data in the current scheme without any specific condition. Idea’s existing plans that now come packed with “more data” at no additional cost is a “promotional offer” on its 4G and 3G packs.

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Shubham Mishra

Founder and Chief Editor at PaidFreeDroid. Shubham likes to keep on top of the tech world and loves to help people around him who face day to day trouble with technology.

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