The 1-GB-for-Rs-68 scheme was launched by BSNL in the beginning of this year and had instantly become a big hit as it was extremely cheap compared to what was on offer till then from everyone including BSNL.
With everyone, including BSNL, charging at least Rs 150 for 1 GB of 3G data, the 68 rupee pack reduced the cost of data by half.
However, BSNL seems to have under-estimated the demand.
After launching the Rs 68 3G recharge in March with a validity of 10 days, the company revised it to 7 days in June. Again in August, the validity was further reduced to 5 days, and now, it has been reduced to just 3 days.
According to sources, the company has found that even with a validity of 5 days, there were many customers who were using the 68 3G pack.
By heavy packs, the official meant recharges such as Rs 1,011 – which gives 10 GB with a validity of 30 days. Instead of going for this option, any user would go for ten recharges of Rs 68 each, which would give an equal amount of data at just Rs 680.
Similarly, it was better to go for five recharge of 68 each — totaling Rs 340 — instead of buying the Rs 561 5 GB pack.
This was made all the more attractive as BSNL does not cancel unused allocation under any pack if the user continues to be on any data scheme.
Now that the validity has been reduced to 3 days, schemes such as 561 have again become attractive for the sake of validity.
BSNL had also tried to remove the ‘carry over’ facility for data, but rolled back the decision after users called up the exchanges and protested.
Of late, most of the company’s rivals have also started offering data carry over.
For long validity packs, the most attractive offers are from the EVDO Rev B services of Reliance Communications and MTS. The two offer data at around Rs 80 per GB for those who commit to at least 15-18 GB for a period of three months.
BSNL is likely to readjust its data packs once again after the launch of 4G services by Reliance Jio. Jio is reported to be readying to launch its first handset — under its brand LYF — early in November.