comscore Vodafone, Airtel do away with talktime plans; could soon force users to recharge every 28 days: Report | BGR India

Vodafone, Airtel do away with talktime plans; could soon force users to recharge every 28 days: Report

The move will help telecom operators boost their ARPUs.

  • Published: October 30, 2018 12:58 PM IST

The Indian telecom space has seen a big change after Reliance Jio entered the market. As a result, local and national calling has become completely free on most plans, data has become cheaper, and in fact, it is the most affordable across the globe. Given the cutthroat competition, telcos have been constantly revising their prepaid plans, and introducing combo prepaid plans every now and then. If things continue this way, telcos may soon do away with talk plans and make the combo plans the new mandate.

Those who have been using a mobile number since the very early days would remember how expensive outgoing calls were – about Rs 17 per minute for incoming and outgoing. Even an SMS would cost about Rs 5 or so. This was sometime during the year 2000-2005. It was when customers were required to do make a monthly recharge, say Rs 330, where they would get 30 days validity and some Rs 300 odd talktime. Failing to recharge after 30 days would result in discontinuation of outgoing services, and after the grace period the incoming calls would also stop till the customer doesn’t recharge again.

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Fast forward today, we have moved from the monthly recharge plans from over a decade ago, to plans with lifetime validity, and now, back to monthly recharges. There has been a small change though, instead of monthly validity, most plans offer 28 days validity, meaning in a year, you will need to make at least 13 recharges. It works for telecom operators as it eventually helps them boost their monthly Average Revenue Per User (ARPUs).

As noted by TelecomTalk, mobile wallets such as Paytm and Mobikwik that offer prepaid recharges on the respective platforms, have stopped offering talk time plans. However, add on plans, long-term plans and STVs are still available. And the same goes with Airtel and Vodafone’s app and official website too. This could be a precursor to what could eventually happen. On Vodafone website, for instance, there are three recharges – Rs 10 with a talktime of Rs 7.47, Rs 1,000 and Rs 5,000 with full talktime. Essentially, you’re left with three plans if you want balance to make calls at base rate. Same goes with Airtel too.

The combo recharge plans launched by telecom operators offer a complete package, which includes unlimited outgoing calls, unlimited roaming, and are also bundled with SMS and data. These plans are generally priced between Rs 149 and Rs 399 or more, with the difference in validity and daily data that they offer. Telcos also launched affordable recharge plans starting at around Rs 35 that offer 28 days validity. So, monthly recharges won’t even break your bank.

  • Published Date: October 30, 2018 12:58 PM IST