Reliance Jio recently brought new postpaid plans, which seem to undercut the plans of Airtel and Vi in price. These new Jio Plus postpaid plans are an attempt of Jio to boost its presence in the postpaid mobile business as well. While Jio has been the top pick for prepaid consumers, it hasn't really made a big impact on the postpaid segment. Airtel and Vi (Vodafone Idea) are leading the postpaid segment in India by a huge margin. One thing that postpaid consumers like is the convenience of purchasing services. That is the whole point of subscribing to postpaid mobile services.
With postpaid, what is important is the convenience bundled with the quality of service that a consumer gets. Postpaid services are convenient because a user doesn't have to worry about the amount of data or voice-calling minutes he/she is consuming. The user just needs to pay the bill for the usage of services at the end of every billing cycle.
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Postpaid consumers are hardly worried about the price. They are more worried about choosing the plan that gives them enough data benefits. Thus, Jio's attempt to undercut Airtel and Vi in the postpaid space could bring some positive results, but it wouldn't likely make as big an impact as lowering the price for the prepaid consumers did.
One thing that is often associated with postpaid consumers is that they are more loyal than prepaid consumers. If they have been getting decent quality services for a price that is even 30% more expensive than what they could get from any other player, they would mostly stick with their current service provider.
Postpaid users are more concerned about the seamless quality of services than the price. This is why it would be interesting to follow the postpaid business growth of the private telcos in the months to come.
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No 5G a Concern for Vi
One major disadvantage for the postpaid subscribers of Vi is that they can't access 5G networks. But what they can do is port to any other telecom operator to experience 5G. At a time when both Airtel and Jio are offering truly unlimited 5G to both their prepaid as well as postpaid subscribers, it would be pretty hard for Vi to keep its subscribers from joining the networks of the competitors.
But Vi is also planning to roll out 5G in the near future. The telco just needs funds in place, and because it has 5G-ready networks, it would just need to do small deployments to upgrade sites to 5G. Vi has already demonstrated the power of its 5G networks. What it has been waiting for a long time is to place commercial orders to the network gear suppliers for 5G equipment. But for that, the telco needs to raise funds.