Reliance Jio, which earlier this month removed its sole data-only plan, has reintroduced such pure data offerings.
The telco had, at the beginning of this month, removed its ‘Cricket Data Pack’, its only pure data offering that yielded 2GB of data per day at a cost of around Rs 5 per day.
With the removal of the Cricket pack, users of JioFi devices and others who were using their connections purely for data found themselves at a disadvantage as they were forced to buy one or the other voice plans, just to keep using data.
This added a cost of around Rs 110 per month to their total expense.
However, Reliance Jio has now reintroduced data-only packs by converting three add-on packs — also introduced earlier this month — into full-fledged, standalone plans.
These are the 151, 201 and 251 recharges.
These packs, introduced when the Cricket Data Pack was withdrawn, came with zero validity, and could not be activated unless the subscriber also had voice plan.
However, Jio has now removed that requirement, converting these packs into standalone plans with a validity of 1 month each.
With this, anyone who wishes to use their Jio connection purely for accessing 4G data can recharge with 151, 201 or 251 without activating a voice plan.
Thanks to their standalone nature, the new recharges are now more similar to the Cricket Data Plan which they replaced, but still contain two crucial differences.
The first difference is in terms of cost: While the Cricket Data Plan used to provide 2GB daily for around Rs 5 per day — or Rs 2.5 per GB — the new plans charge twice as much, Rs 5 per GB.
However, on the plus side, these plans do not come with either daily caps or daily expiry.
In other words, under the new Rs 251, a user can consume 5 GB on the first day and 1 GB on the second day, and still have 44 GB left over for the rest of the month.
Under the earlier plan, a user was restricted to consuming only 2 GB per day, which would not be carried over to the next day if unconsumed.
Meanwhile, the removal of the Cricket Plan has robbed Reliance Jio its status as the provider of the cheapest 4G data services in the country.
Thanks to an ongoing ‘double data offer’, that distinction now belongs to Vodafone Idea, whose 349 plan offers 4G data at just Rs 2 per GB, with daily expiry and capping.