Idea Cellular, now a part of the Vodafone Idea Ltd combined entity, has introduced a new prepaid plan priced at Rs 159. The plan has a validity of 28 days, and offers unlimited voice calling, 100 SMS per day and 28GB of data in total, usable at an FUP of 1GB per day. The plan is the same in price and offers same benefits as the Vodafone Rs 159 plan, which is likely an effort to offer price parity and similar plans from both brands. Also Read - Reliance Jio finds 9th and 10th investment from TGP and L Catterton; Jio Platforms investment up to Rs 104,326.95 croreAlso Read - Jio Platforms gets 8th investment in less than seven weeks; AIDA takes 1.16% stake for Rs 5,683.50 crore
However, according to TelecomTalk, the Idea Cellular plan is only available in select circles, and that too as a segmented offer for select users. Additionally, there are FUPs in place even on the voice calling benefits, which is limited to 250 minutes per day, and 1,000 minutes per week. In comparison, other operators have plans with similar benefits, but these are marketed as open plans available for everyone. Idea Cellular could roll out this plan across all of its circles in the coming weeks, but for now its limited to just select users in some circles. Also Read - TRAI issues a decision to end 100 free SMS per day rule
Currently, most operators are hoping to achieve pricing competitiveness with Reliance Jio, which has the best-priced plans across the country. When compared to the Idea Rs 159 plan, Jio has a Rs 149 plan with a similar validity of 28 days, unlimited calling and 100 SMS per day, but with more daily high-speed data usage of 1.5GB per day. Furthermore, while Idea Cellular does have 4G connectivity, the network may drop to 3G or 2G based on location, while Reliance Jio has a 4G network wherever it is present.
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Idea Cellular has a stronger presence in South India, while North India is dominated by Airtel. Similarly, Vodafone has a strong presence in metro cities across the country, including Mumbai and Delhi. With Jio’s rapid growth, Idea has now dropped to the number four position in India by subscriber base.