Even before Reliance Jio Infocomm’s 4G services officially arrives in India, other carriers in the country are already getting the jitters. Less than a fortnight after India’s No. 1 carrier, Bharti Airtel, launched free and unlimited voice calls for its top revenue generating customers, the country’s second largest carrier, Vodafone India, is now offering two new packs for its high-value postpaid subscribers.
Back in 2015, the company had launched its RED postpaid plans that allows users to share limited data and calling minutes with up to five members at a small additional cost. After the data quota in these plans is over, users are charged Rs.0.50 ($0.007) per MB for additional data usage.
Now, Vodafone India has launched new RED plans for its postpaid customers, including a Rs 1,999 (~$30) plan with unlimited roaming, unlimited voice calling, and 8 GB data, and a Rs 1,699 (~$26) plan with free roaming (incoming calls only), unlimited voice calling, and 6 GB data.
Vodafone India has also launched new entry-level RED postpaid plans priced at Rs 499 (~$8), Rs 699 (~$11), and Rs 999 (~$15) offering 700 minutes, 1000 minutes, and 2000 minutes of voice calls, bundled with 1 GB, 2 GB, and 3 GB of 3G/4G data, respectively.
The move comes in the wake of Vodafone India’s slower data revenue growth in the April-June quarter, and Jio’s 4G expected to arrive with free voice services bundled with data at 25% lower prices than what is being currently charged by the country’s top carriers.
After Jio’s commercial launch, the Indian telecom market is expected to witness a massive disruption in data and voice pricing, which ultimately stands to benefit the consumers. It looks like the bloodbath has started already though, and more cuts are likely, as Indian carriers slug it out to retain their existing customers as well as add new ones.