Following Airtel, Idea Cellular also slashes 4G rates ahead of Reliance Jio launch

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Following market leader Bharti Airtel, Idea Cellular slashed the rates of its 4G, 3G BIG Internet packs by upto 67%, providing more value to heavy internet users who consume data packs of 2GB to 10 GB.

Last week, Idea had announced the price reduction by 45% in its sachet data packs.

Idea is now offering 10 GB 4G, 3G data pack for just Rs. 990.

Idea’s 2 GB data is now priced at just Rs 349, as against the earlier price of Rs 449.

Idea users will now get 5 GB of 4G and 3G data at Rs 649 – a 67% more value than 3GB data earlier.

Idea’s new BIG Internet packs will give both postpaid and prepaid data users the convenience to download movies, stream songs and play online games without worrying about data balance.

Commenting on the recent rate revision, Mr. Sashi Shankar, Chief Marketing Officer, Idea Cellular, said, “While the price reduction in our sachet data packs was aimed at inducting more users into the world of internet; the reduction in rates of BIG Recharge packs now, is aimed at delivering significantly higher Value for Money to our regular internet users. Our consumer research studies have indicated a growing demand for affordable high volume internet packs which we are aiming to fulfil with the new offers.”

Idea has also launched new Freedom Packs, which are low cost data packs starting at just Rs. 35 with 4 weeks’ validity, giving prepaid consumers freedom from multiple recharges and the constant hassle over expiry of plans.

Earlier, last week Idea Cellular had announced upto 45% rate slash in prepaid sachet packs.

Currently, new prices and benefits for prepaid have been made live across all Idea 4G and 3G provider circles, and postpaid roll-out is underway. The data benefits/price points for the packs may vary across circles, further details of which are available on the Idea Cellular websiteidea-4g-tariff

RELIANCE JIO EFFECT

India’s top three telecom companies — who control about 85% of the wireless data market — tend to keep their prices in sync with each other.

As a result, all three were offering 1 GB for Rs 250 and 10 GB for about Rs 1350-1,500 so far.

The entry of Reliance Jio into the market has disturbed the equilibrium as Jio cannot keep its prices in sync with those of the others and expect to get users.

Anticipating that Jio will be offering cheaper data, the big incumbents are preemptively slashing their prices — with one month remaining before the official launch of services.

India’s top three telecom companies are among the fastest growing and most profitable in the world. However, with the entry of Jio, their profits are likely to decline going forward.

The companies have expressed their alarm at the possibility of declining profitability, and tried to get net neutrality rules relaxed so that they could charge different prices for data based on what that data is going to be used for — to watch a video, to browse a website, for an app or for audio.

Idea had warned that data prices will have to be raised to Rs 1,000-2,500 per GB if operators are not allowed to do so. Though the regulator denied permission to charge differently based on what the consumer did with the end product, Idea Cellular has not raised its data price so far.
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