Idea slashes 3G rates, offers among the cheapest 3G data plans in India

Idea Cellular, the telecom operator part of the Aditya Birla group, has cut its 3G data rates across the country, five months after it launched such services.

NOTE: Most of these plans have been withdrawn as of 23 May 2012

While the launch tariffs were in line with the tariffs charged by its main competition — Bharti Airtel and Vodafone, the new tariffs are considerably cheaper than them.

It may be noted that the new, cheaper tariffs have been announced only after Idea managed to finalize 3G spectrum agreements with other players to launch its services in ares like Delhi and Mumbai where it failed to get 3G spectrum in the auctions.

The new tariffs are up to 50% cheaper than the older ones. For example, according to the launch tariffs, Idea Cellular was charging Rs 450 for 600 MB — enough to cover the Internet usage from a smart-phone for a month.

In other words, it was charging 75 paise per MB for a typical smart-phone plan. Under the new scheme, it will charge only Rs 199 for 500 MB, or less than 40 paise per MB.

Similarly, For those who use 3G as a broadband option, Rs 750 will now fetch you 4 GB of data per month, instead of 2 GB earlier.

It has also introduced a mega pack, 10 GB per month for Rs 1,250.

The other interesting aspect about the tariffs is that the rates offered by Idea in a place like Delhi, where it is using Vodafone’s 3G network to deliver its won 3G, is much cheaper than the rates offered by Vodafone itself.

For example, the same 500 MB pack that costs Rs 199 on Idea Cellular costs Rs 375 for Vodafone’s customers. Similarly, Rs 1,255 buys you only 5 GB on Vodafone’s Delhi service, but gets you double that on Idea.

However, Idea has always offered cheaper rates than Vodafone and Airtel due to the fact that it often came later into the market. Besides, Vodafone and Airtel enjoy the ‘premium’ tag, while Idea is more of a ‘mass’ brand. It is also expected to re-look at the prices at the end of this year.


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