These plans are unique as currently no other operator offers 2GB or 3G per day at these price levels.
Airtel has priced its 3 GB per day at Rs 549 for 4 weeks (28 days) or Rs 19.61 per day.
In comparison, the same pack costs Rs 799 on Reliance Jio, or Rs 28.54 per day, a 45% increase compared to what Airtel is charging.
Idea Cellular and Vodafone do not currently have packs that offer more than 1.5 GB per day.
This is the first time that any of the incumbents has offered a plan that is significantly cheaper than the corresponding pack from Reliance Jio.
The incumbent also unveiled a new 2GB per day pack, priced at Rs 349 with a validity of 28 days.
This is now the lowest recharge amount among any operator in India to get you 2GB per day of 4G data. In comparison, the 2GB per day pack from Reliance Jio is priced at Rs 509.
However, at least in this case, the Jio pack actually turns out to be cheaper in the longer run as it has a validity of 49 days or seven weeks. The Jio pack costs Rs 10.39 per day, while the Airtel 2GB pack costs Rs 12.46 per day.
Airtel also has a 799 plan, and it offers 3.5 GB per day.
From an absolute value-for-money perspective, the cheapest plan from the operator is the Rs 498 pack which gives 1 GB per day for 84 days. A similar pack from Jio is priced at Rs 459.
The move by Airtel indicates that the operator is not focused on keeping its packs ahead by a ‘safe distance’ from Jio, like other players including Idea Cellular and Vodafone are doing.
In a recent interaction, Idea Cellular CEO Himanshu Kapania said his company will not try to match the prices of the new entrant, but will keep its packs slight more expensive compared to those of the new entrant to leave space for the newcomer to increase its tariffs.
“Idea’s tariff is always at a premium, so that it is safe for them to raise tariff. Only the differential has reduced,” Kapania had said.
With today’s move, India’s largest telco by revenue has signaled that it is not willing to play the game and would move aggressively to retain its subscribers.