Vodafone slashes 4G offer prices after Airtel, Idea reveal explosion of data

Vodafone India renewed efforts to promote its cut-price voice and data offerings in recent days as the latest quarterly numbers from rivals Idea Cellular and Bharti Airtel suggested they had given out bigger discounts in the April-June period than anyone had expected.

Earlier this week, Bharti Airtel reported that the total consumption of wireless data on its network had gone up by 110% in the period from April-June compared to the previous three months (January-March).

Yesterday, Idea Cellular too said data consumption on its network doubled in the same period.

This was made possible by the two players cutting data prices by more than half during the three months to compete with Reliance Jio.

While Bharti Airtel cut its tariff by 51%, Idea Cellular reduced it by 53%.

Idea Cellular, for example, was offering 1 GB of 3G/4G data daily and unlimited voice calls for around Rs 400 per month.

Vodafone had been more circumspect in offering similar packs to its customers. The company did have a similar pack priced at Rs 445, but the offer was available to limited set of customers.

However, the company now seems to have cut the price of the offer to Rs 401 to bring it in line with what Idea is offering. It has also started promoting the offers more aggressively.

Other packs available on Vodafone include a similar offer with a validity of 56 days for a price of Rs 353.

The cheapest 1GB/day offer is priced at Rs 248, and has a validity of 70 days. However, the free calls on this scheme are restricted to other Vodafone numbers.

Meanwhile, Vodafone and Idea have reported that the companies are well on their way towards merging their operations in India, and have obtained several permissions including that of the Competition Commission of India.

The merger is likely to be complete by early next year.