Ahead of Diwali, the country’s top three mobile operators – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea Cellular, are offering data packs to their consumers either free or at discounted rates, in their bid to woo and retain them as competition is set to hot up with the launch of Reliance Jio a few months later and incumbents also launch their 4G services.
For instance, Vodafone India will be offering 100MB of data free to its 188 million customers on the day of Diwali – November 11. Vodafone users can avail the free data plan by sending a SMS ‘DIWALI’ to 199 from phones, and they will be able to browse the web, send Diwali e-greetings, and Diwali e-messages.
“Data is increasingly driving usage pattern, more so during important festivals like Diwali,” says Sunil Sood, managing director and CEO, Vodafone India.
On the voice front, for its 35 million users in the five southern states of Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka, Vodafone India has launched a “One rate, One South” pack that allows all outgoing mobile calls at 1 paisa per second from anywhere in South India. “There would be no roaming incoming charges regardless of the location of the customer – be it Andhra Pradesh & Telangana, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka,” the company said in a statement.
For its part, Idea Cellular has launched monthly internet packs that gives its prepaid users, data at 30-40% discount to the current market rates, ahead of the festival, called the Idea Freedom Packs. The launch is targeted at consumers who buy products and services through the season using their mobile phones from various e-commerce websites, as well as use social media, the company says.
Idea Cellular’s monthly subscription pack is available for Rs 100 and offers 300MB data on 2G networks, while the Rs 175 gives data worth 500MB on 3G networks. Both the packs will be valid for 28-days.
Vodafone India, and Idea Cellular’s launch of internet packs follow Bharti Airtel introducing three data packs, targeted at specific user segments as it aims to retain data users and gain newer ones.
Bharti had launched a pack which promises 50% data to be credited to users to use internet from midnight to 6 am the next day. The company will also credit Rs 750 for new smartphone buyers signing up for data packs and in a third plan, allows data-packs to be shared within four members of a family.