Bharti Airtel Smart Recharges and Jio IUC Talk Time Plans Are Similar, Combo Plans Win the Race

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While the start of 2019 was a very competitive one for most of the telecom operators, with the data tariff war calming down and the prepaid plan portfolios competing head-on. Come to the end of the year, things have surely taken a different turn because of the regulatory proceedings in the industry. While Reliance Jio’s prepaid portfolio used to match the competition of the incumbents like Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel shoulder to shoulder, now the arrival of the IUC talk times and the new all-in-one recharges have skewed this comparison a little bit. Now, while these new IUC charges made their way into the industry as the 6 paise per minute charge on all outgoing calls to other networks, they were mostly disliked by the Reliance Jio users. After some initial rattling, the consumers started accepting these new prepaid plans. But, still, there is some divided opinion among the subscribers as to how these prepaid plans compare with the other prepaid offerings. Here is our take on the same.


Introduction of Minimum Recharges and IUC

Firstly, to notice the kind of effect that the Reliance Jio new IUC talk time vouchers incited, it is crucial to recall the last few months of 2018, when the private telecom operators, namely Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea had introduced minimum recharge plans to increase their ARPU and to add paying customers. The reaction of the public that time too, was a negative one as the subscribers started migrating to other operators to avoid compulsorily paying the minimum recharge amount. This is similar to the reaction which Reliance Jio received from the public when it introduced the IUC charges a few weeks back. While the minimum recharge plans allowed the subscribers to make calls, or extend their validity simply, the new IUC plans also do a similar thing but only for outgoing call on the other networks.

Similar Floor for Prepaid Plans

While these minimum recharge plans start at Rs 35, the Reliance Jio IUC prepaid plans start at the measly price of Rs 10 and go as high as Rs 1,000. This means one thing, that finally the floor of these prepaid plans have come up and the minimum possible amount that the subscribers can spend on their prepaid plan is Rs 10 for Reliance Jio, and in the case of other telcos this amount is slightly higher.

However, this introduction of the low-value plans which ship prepaid or similar services has led the consumers towards adaption of the combo offerings. Now the subscribers of the idea, that instead of simply spending on monthly recharges for no reason, there should some increased data benefits along with other benefits as well. What the consumers have found is that the combo offerings start a little higher as compared to these offerings and they not only bundle the services of these low-value prepaid vouchers, but they also ship much more benefits thus justifying the price of these prepaid plans.

Why Subscribers Should Get Combo Plans

In the case of Reliance Jio, these plans seem to be the all-in-one prepaid plans which bundle IUC minutes, daily data offerings, SMS, unlimited calls to Jio network and subscription to Reliance Jio apps. In the case of other telcos, these prepaid plans offer similar benefits. Hence, for the subscribers as well, it makes sense to go for the all-in-one or the combo prepaid plans as they will offer better buck for the money.

Reported By


Arpit spends his day closely following the telecom and tech industry. A music connoisseur and a night owl, he also takes a deep interest in the Indian technology start-up scene and spends rest of his time spilling poetry and stories on paper.

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