Reliance Jio has made yet another major move in the prepaid tariff department giving out an edge to incumbent telcos. For nearly two years now, Reliance Jio's Rs 149 was a go-to option for several monthly plan users. But the telco has now converted the Rs 149 prepaid plan to All-in-One recharge now, joining the likes of Rs 222, Rs 333, Rs 444 and Rs 555. As part of the same revision, the Rs 149 plan's validity has also been reduced to 24 days from the previous 28 days. However, on the brighter side, Jio is bundling 300 non-Jio voice calling minutes with the same plan. For the unaware, Jio's All-in-One recharges are introduced to provide bundled non-Jio voice calling to the prepaid users. That said, Jio did not reduce the data benefit, but the validity reduction means the overall data benefit will also be reduced to 36GB.
Reliance Jio Reduces Validity of Rs 149 Recharge to 24 Days
While Reliance Jio always stated that the Rs 399 prepaid plan is the popular recharge amongst its prepaid users, we believe that the Rs 149 plan is also popular with the monthly recharge users. The new revision will definitely disappoint the Jio prepaid customers. After the revision, Reliance Jio is now offering unlimited Jio-to-Jio voice calls, Jio to non-Jio FUP of 300 minutes, 100 SMSes per day and 1.5GB data per day for a period of 28 days.
Earlier, the same Rs 149 recharge used to offer unlimited voice calls (only Jio-to-Jio), 1.5GB daily data and 100 SMSes per day for a period of 28 days. As you can clearly see, the validity of the Rs 149 recharge has come down by four days, but at the same time, the telco is offering non-Jio minutes as well.
At the start of October 2019, Reliance Jio made a significant move in the prepaid segment saying that it will start charging six paise per minute for every outgoing voice call made to another network. For every Rs 10 non-Jio voice calling, the company will credit 1GB of data to the customers' account. Of course, Jio customers did not like this move as they believe that the company broke the promise of providing lifetime free voice calls. Reliance Jio has a separate version of why it started charging, but the IUC Top-Up vouchers which were introduced by Jio has to be recharged separately.
Later on, Jio came out with All-in-One recharged bundling a minimum of 1000 non-Jio minutes starting at Rs 222. But again, the price is on the higher side and not everyone will be able to perform a recharge of Rs 222 every month, so Jio had to launch a cheaper plan. Instead of bringing a new plan altogether, Jio has modified the Rs 149 recharge and converted it to an All-in-One recharge. The revised plan is already effective across all the telecom circles.
Is This the Jio's Way of Charging More from Customers?
Some may believe that the Rs 149 recharge revision from Reliance Jio is not a major one, but it's a big deal considering the validity of the plan has been reduced by four days. BSNL used to reduce the validity of its popular recharges on a constant note, and now, Jio has done it for the first time. Previously, if a customer wants to have 300 minutes of non-Jio voice calling, they had no other option rather than going for the IUC Top-Up vouchers of Rs 20 which provides 249 IUC minutes. So Jio has reduced the validity and started including 300 minutes of IUC minutes within the plan itself.
Some may feel it's a good move from the company, but on the flip side, incumbents are charging just Rs 20 more and providing 28 days unlimited combo plan. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have a Rs 169 plan that ships with 1GB daily data, unlimited voice calling without any FUP limit and 100 SMSes per day for 28 days. Jio still has the upper hand when it comes to the data benefit, but it loses in the validity aspect though.