Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has brought a new long-term prepaid recharge to its customers. BSNL has priced the plan at Rs 997 and it takes on the similarly priced plans from Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio. BSNL Rs 997 prepaid recharge offers unlimited voice calling, 3GB daily data benefit and 100 SMSes per day for a period of 180 days. The new plan will be effective from November 10, 2019, and it seems like it will be available only in Kerala circle. For the unaware, Kerala is BSNL's important circle as the telco has over 10 million subscribers in that circle alone. Additionally, the newly launched prepaid plan also comes with a Personalised Ringback Tone (PRBT) benefit for two months.
BSNL Rs 997 Prepaid Recharge: Validity and Benefits Detailed
The government-owned PSU has introduced the new long-term recharge to take on the similarly priced prepaid plans from telcos like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio. Bharti Airtel has a Rs 998 prepaid plan, while Vodafone Idea and Jio are offering Rs 999 recharges. And these prepaid plans from all the telcos offer validity of at least 90 days.
As for the benefits, the Rs 997 prepaid plan offers unlimited voice calls to any network including Mumbai & Delhi, 3GB daily data as speeds will be reduced to 80 Kbps post the daily limit, 100 SMSes per day and PRBT for two months. Having said that, BSNL is limiting the voice calls to just 250 minutes per day, similar to other unlimited combo prepaid plans from the telco.
As mentioned, the Rs 997 prepaid recharge from BSNL is launched only in Kerala circle for now and it will be available for recharge starting November 10.
BSNL Rs 997 vs Airtel Rs 998 vs Vodafone Rs 999 Prepaid Plans Compared
BSNL's Rs 997 prepaid plan takes on Airtel's Rs 998 and Vodafone's Rs 999 prepaid plans. Bharti Airtel's Rs 998 prepaid recharge offers unlimited voice calling, 300 SMSes per 28 days and 12GB of data benefit without any daily data limit. The plan offers a validity of 336 days. Vodafone Idea, on the other hand, is providing the exact similar benefits as Bharti Airtel, but the validity is on the higher side at 365 days. Reliance Jio also has a Rs 999 prepaid plan that offers 60GB data, unlimited Jio-to-Jio voice calling and 100 SMSes per day for 90 days.
BSNL wins the race yet again on the data benefit front, but Airtel and Vodafone Idea are providing better validity. Reliance Jio loses the battle to all the three telcos as the data limit and validity are not-so-impressive. Also, Airtel, Jio and Vodafone Idea prepaid plans are available in all the 22 telecom circles, whereas BSNL's plan is available only in Kerala circle for now.
We're not sure whether BSNL will bring this plan to other circles or not. Hopefully, it launches in other circles too as the data benefit is appealing at 3GB per day.
Reliance Jio also has another disadvantage as the customers will have to perform additional IUC Top-Up voucher recharges with every recharge. For example, Jio's Rs 999 plan is already underwhelming when it comes to benefits, and on top of that, to make voice calls to other networks, Jio customers will have to recharge at least Rs 10. So for standard Jio prepaid users, the starting price of Rs 999 plan will be Rs 1,099 which comes with 124 minutes of IUC minutes.