Airtel, Idea offer free voice plans to take on Jio

The two unlimited voice calling packs also include free data benefits.

Another recharge of Rs 348 will allow users to make free local and STD calls on any network in the country.

Under the new plan, Vodafone is offering unlimited calling for recharges above Rs 144 and free roaming on Vodafone network and 50 Mb free data and for those above Rs 344 unlimited free calls and free roaming on all mobiles network and 300 mb free data for 4G handset users and 1 Gb data for 4G handset users. Airtel has given pricing to the Delhi circle, and says pricing of the prepaid packs may change from circle to circle. Both packs also offer unlimited incoming free on national roaming.

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Both the new packs, valid of 28 days, come bundled with 50MB of data, Vodafone said in a statement Friday. Opting in for these tariff plans would offer limitless local calls along with free STD calls to Vodafone numbers. Priced around Rs. 148 and Rs. 348, these packs provide the customers with unlimited voice calls to anywhere in India, along with data benefits. Non-4G customers will get 50MB data with the pack and 4G phone customers will get an additional 1GB data.

The announcement comes a day after Airtel offered similar plans to its over 260 million subscribers. With the first Rs 145 pack, 4G smartphone users get 300MB of 4G data with free local and STD Airtel to Airtel calls. Additionally, subscribers who opt for either of the monthly plans will get some free data as well. However, none of these offers actually compete with Reliance Jio at least not until March 2017.

Idea Cellular, following the lead of market leader Airtel, has launched two unlimited voice calling recharge packs. Added to free voice calls and SMS, Reliance Jio users also get free access to Jio's suite of apps, including JioPlay, JioOnDemand, JioBeats, JioXpressNews, JioSecurity, JioDrive, JioMags and JioMoney among others. All thanks to Reliance Jio's entry, all major telecom operators are slashing prices of their existing tariffs by nearly half.

  • Megan Austin