Reliance Jio’s entry in India as a pan-India 4G carrier in 2016 has led to huge surge in data traffic. While mobile data speed has improved significantly, it is still not the most convenient when you want to connect multiple devices and take the internet connection with you and for on-the-go use. This is where Wi-Fi hotspot comes in and Reliance Jio has made this product a new normal with its JioFi. The success of JioFi forced incumbent players such as Bharti Airtel to take note and lower the prices of their own MiFi dongles. Now, Airtel is taking another big step to make its 4G dongle competitive Reliance Jio’s JioFi with updated monthly plans.
One of the biggest selling point of such 4G hotspot devices has been that it can deliver 4G speeds even on non-4G devices. When Reliance Jio started its commercial 4G service, a large part of the country had consumers with non-4G devices. Jio offered then an opportunity to experience 4G speeds without having to upgrade to a new device altogether. A lot of users found these devices useful especially in areas where mobile 4G penetration is low or when they did not have access to 4G ready devices.
Airtel 4G Hotspot: New Monthly Plans
In order to make its 4G hotspot lucrative to consumers, Airtel has revised its monthly plans which now start at Rs 399. The Rs 399 monthly plan offers a total of 50GB data per month and after the FUP limit, customers get access to unlimited data at a throttled data speed of 80kbps. The second plan is priced at Rs 599 and it provides 100GB data at 4G speeds and after the exhaustion of the data limit, the data speed will be capped to 80kbps.
Airtel also offers a six-month advance rental option with its 4G hotspot and one of the perks of this offer is free Airtel 4G hotspot. When customers buy the Rs 399 plan with a six-month advanced plan by paying Rs 2,400 at once, they can save Rs 999, which is the price Airtel charges for the device upfront. With the Rs 599 plan, customers will have to pay Rs 3,600 at once for the six-month plan and the data options will remain the same.
Airtel issued a clarification that the Rs 399 and Rs 599 amount is the effective pricing of these plans per month while the payment only happens once in six months. In addition to this both the plans also offer data rollover which means that the unused data from a given month is added to the FUP of the next month.
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The 4G hotspot can also be separately bought from Amazon India or Airtel’s own website. It is a 4G hotspot device manufactured by Chinese telecom giant Huawei and it comes with a 1,500mAh battery, which the company claims will last for up to six hours. While Airtel used to offer a number of plans previously, it seems all the plans have been discounted to better compete with Reliance Jio.