Idea Cellular, Vodafone India and Bharti Airtel are known to have started offering aggressive discounts on their 3G plans to their customers via promotional offers and SMSes ahead of Reliance Jio’s launch.
All three are already offering 1 GB of 3G data for Rs 149 as opposed to Rs 249 earlier.
However, the discounts don’t end there. Idea, for example, is offering 5 GB of 3G data valid for one month for just Rs 544. The original price of this pack is Rs 850.
Similarly, operators are offering schemes such as 3 GB for Rs 444 and so on. These promotional offers, however, are sent only to those who do not have any of the traditional 3G packs activated at present.
Another operator Tata Teleservices, which has 3G spectrum in many areas such as the southern states, has also restarted work on rolling out its network.
The company had rolled out 3G networks in the initial phase about 3-4 years ago, but had stopped much of its expansion due to a cash crunch. However, it has to roll out now for two reasons — the launch of Reliance Jio and the expiry of the five-year window for roll-out.
All operators in India have to meet certain roll-out obligations by the end of the fifth year, which is right about now.
Tata DoCoMo is expected to launch 3G in many new towns and cities starting this month, according to market sources.
Altogether, the indications are that wireless data prices are slated to more or less halve in India over the next two months.
In the Apr-Jun period, data prices continued to be in the Rs 250 per GB range. Idea, for example, reported a data price realization of 24.6 paise per MB for the three months.
However, in the July-September quarter, that number is likely to fall by around 20% to about 20 paise per MB. By December, when Reilance Jio will launch, the other three operators are likely to be selling wireless data at around 15 paise per MB or roughly Rs 150 per GB.