Bharti Airtel new prepaid plans with increased prices are now effective. Besides what we detailed earlier, there are no more new plans from the company, as we expected. So the prepaid recharges are now very limited, but we're expecting the telco to launch new plans in the coming days and weeks. As you might be aware of, Bharti Airtel will now charge for voice calls made to other networks similar to Reliance Jio as Trai is looking to postpone zero-IUC regime by another three years. To accompany this change, Airtel has reintroduced the affordable talk time plans of Rs 20 and Rs 50 which users can recharge and make voice calls to other networks. These talk time plans will be beneficial for users who make a lot of voice calls to other networks. Sadly, Airtel is not shipping full talk time benefit with these plans though.
Airtel Now Has Seven Talk Time Plans Starting at Rs 10
Incumbent telcos Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea followed the footsteps of Reliance Jio as they will charge six paise per minute for voice calls made to other networks. And all the new prepaid plans of Airtel come with a FUP limit; Even the Rs 2,398 yearly plan has a non-Airtel FUP calling limit of 12,000 minutes for one year and it's underwhelming to see.
For the users who make monthly recharges of Rs 148 or Rs 248 or Rs 298 or Rs 398, the allotted 1,000 minutes of non-Airtel calling may not be enough. So for such users, the newly reintroduced talk time plans come in handy.
Similar to 2018, Bharti Airtel now has a total of seven talk time plans on offer and they are priced at Rs 10, Rs 20, Rs 50, Rs 100, Rs 500, Rs 1,000 and Rs 5,000. Sadly, none of these plans offer full talk time benefit, which is a thing worth noting right now. As for the talk time balance, users get Rs 7,47 (Rs 10), Rs 14,95 (Rs 20), Rs 39.37 (Rs 50), Rs 81.75 (Rs 100), Rs 423.73 (Rs 500), Rs 847.46 (Rs 1,000) and Rs 4,237.29 (Rs 5,000).
These talk time plans will not bring any service validity to the user's account, so they will have to make an additional Smart Pack recharge of Rs 23 or Rs 49 or Rs 79.
Airtel Prepaid Plan Portfolio is Very Limited for Now
Compared to what Bharti Airtel used to offer till yesterday, the newly launched packs are nowhere close in terms of the overall number. Prepaid users are already disappointed with the steep price hike and another thing which they are not liking is the limited tariff portfolio. In the past, Airtel offered Rs 129, Rs 139, Rs 169, Rs 199, Rs 249, Rs 299 and Rs 349 prepaid plans with 28 days validity. But now, there are only four plans of Rs 248, Rs 298, Rs 298 and Rs 398 with 28 days validity.
Airtel also removed the popular Rs 299 prepaid recharge which used to offer unlimited voice calling, 100 SMSes per day, 2.5GB data per day and Amazon Prime subscription worth Rs 129 at no extra for 28 days. We're not sure whether Airtel will offer any such plan going forward, but this news will certainly disappoint a lot of users.
Vodafone Idea's new tariff plans also became effective starting today, but Reliance Jio will unveil its new plans in the next couple of days and they will be effective from December 6. For now, Jio users can stock up their prepaid plans to enjoy the same prices in the future. Having said that, we still think Reliance Jio will have the upper hand in the prepaid tariff segment as the telco is promising up to 300% more benefits with increased tariffs. It will be interesting to see what the telco offers in the coming days.