Vodafone Idea has slashed the price of uncapped data by 30% to Rs 3.5/GB from Rs 5/GB.
The company is already the price leader in the daily data segment [capped data], where it offers 4 GB/day at as little as Rs 8 per day.
However, these daily data plans have a key drawback: If your data usage is not consistent across days, they are of little use as unused data cannot be carried over to the next day.
It is to target this segment that Reliance Jio first unveiled uncapped data plans in April.
While it may have been Jio that kicked off the trend of offering copious amounts of data with no daily cap or expiry, the packs were soon copied by others like Vodafone Idea, or V!, as it is known now.
The plans unveiled by Jio, and copied by the others, priced on-demand wireless data Rs 5 per GB. Under these new so-called ‘work from home’ plans, Jio and V! offered 30 GB of data for around Rs 150, 40 GB for around Rs 200 and 50 GB for around Rs 250.
Firing yet another salvo in its fight to recapture its former market position, Vodafone Idea has now slashed the price of on-demand data by 30% to Rs 3.5 per GB under a new plan.
In addition, the new plan is also more flexible, as it offers twice the time to the consumer to finish the data by offering double validity at 56 days.
Net net, for Rs 351, a user gets a whopping 100 GB of data which can be used any time over the next 56 days, while in case of other plans, data validity lapses after 28 days.
The plan is currently on offer in select circles such as Maharashtra, Kerala, MP, AP, Gujarat and Delhi.
PRICE AND ARPU
Vodafone Idea has been trying to recoup some of its lost market share in the telecom market by copying the strategy that was successfully used by Reliance Jio to emerge as the No.1 operator in India over the last three years.
The strategy is primarily focused on undercutting rivals on price, but with an eye on nudging users to spend more per month.
For example, V!’s 4G/day packs start at Rs 299 for 28 days and go all the way up to 699 for 84 days.
Most of the daily data pack users are currently spending between Rs 200-250 per month. Hence, people who want to take advantage of the Rs 2/GB pricing will have to shell out an extra Rs 50 per month by moving to the 4GB/day pack.
This translates to higher ARPU in a highly competitive market where each operator is trying their best to get even an extra 10 rupees per month from their existing customers.
And over the past 1.5 years or so, operators have been finding increasing success in this endeavor.
Thanks to attractive packages, rising data consumption and price increases, the average amount spent by a telecom customer on Airtel and V! has slowly increased from around Rs 90 per month about two years ago to around 140-150 per month now.
Vodafone Idea has to increase this amount to at least Rs 275 over the next two years if it is to bid successfully for 5G and remain a viable competitor in the telecom market.