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Airtel, Vodafone & Idea take on Reliance Jio: Confusing free unlimited data plans explained

The Reliance Jio Prime membership plan is an extension of the ‘Happy New Year’ plan itself. Meanwhile, incumbents Airtel, Vodafone and Airtel have launched their own offers. (Image: Reuters)

In the tariff war between Reliance Jio Prime, Airtel, Vodafone and Idea, users have found themselves in a fix among the confusing plans on offer. Ever since Reliance Jio announced its plans in India, there has been an interesting tariff war among telecom companies, where many of the rivals like Airtel and Vodafone have accused it of disrupting the market. While Jio offered its calling and data services for free earlier, both the ‘Welcome Offer’ and ‘Happy New Year’ have now ended. This means, now consumers of Jio network will have to pay for the data services in order to avail the offers. However, the calling will remain free forever, according to Reliance Jio. Reliance Jio’s Happy New Year offer will end on March 31, and along with it, the freebies will end too. To soften the blow, Reliance Jio had rolled out its Jio Prime membership plan from March 1. Notably, the Prime membership plan is an extension of the ‘Happy New Year’ plan itself. Meanwhile, incumbents Airtel, Vodafone and Airtel have launched their own offers.

Jio Prime: Meanwhile, after March 31, users will not get everything for free. In order to continue using the previous ‘Happy New Year’ offer, Jio users will have to pay a subscription fee of Rs 99. Additionally, they will have to shell out Rs 303 every month to continue accessing Jio’s 4G services and also the full bouquet of Jio’s media services for one year. Similar to the previous ‘Happy New Year’ offer, the Prime membership too will provide users with a FUP limit of 1GB data for each day. Effectively it translates to 30GB data for a month, meaning Rs 10 per day. The last date for enrolling into the Jio Prime membership programme is March 31. A consumer who still does not have a Jio connection can get on the network on or before March 31 in order to avail the Prime membership offer. Standing true to its promise, Jio has said that the voice calling feature will always be free on Jio.


Airtel’s prepaid recharge plan is of Rs 345 which gives the users 1GB of 4G data per day, along with free local, STD calls. Meanwhile, there are terms and conditions of the data usage. 500MB during the day, 500MB during the night. Customers, in order to avail the service, has to sign up before March 31and the recharge will apply for the next 11 months after the deadline. Users should have a 4G smartphone with 4G support.

Specific details: Unlimited local and STD calls, and 28GB data for 28days. The data is divided as daily 500 MB during the day and same for the night (12AM-6AM). According to the Airtel recharge website, the offer still reflects for Airtel subscribers in Delhi and Tamil Nadu circles. The network provider has not said anything on these offers, officially. Some of its offers have been present on Airtel numbers since a long time now.


Vodafone, according to some reports, has launched a recharge pack priced at Rs 346 which comes with 28GB of mobile data and unlimited free calls. Vodafone has also put a 1GB data cap on free usage, after which the user will be charged. “Vodafone customers are diverse as are their wants. To satisfy these diverse needs and wants, Vodafone offers various segmented propositions. This is one such segmented offering and the offer is valid only until 15 March,” Vodafone said in an official statement.


Idea Cellular has on offer, unlimited voice calling and 0.5 GB data per day for 28 days priced at Rs 348. This means users will get 14GB data per month. Interestingly, the offer by Idea is not available for all. Idea Cellular subscribers will have to check if they are eligible for the deal, on the MyIdea app. Subscribers are needed to have a 4G handset (but not a 4G-enabled SIM) to avail this new offer from Idea.This move by Idea is for low internet users, by encouraging them to use more internet.