Prepaid Plans Definition Changed Since Jio Came, Telcos Must Do Extra With Postpaid

If you are purchasing a Rs 400 postpaid plan from either of the private telcos, you will get very basic benefits. Nothing about this entry-level postpaid plan will feel special or very much different from prepaid services.

Highlights

  • When Jio arrived in the Indian telecom market, it started offering unlimited voice calls and unlimited data to the users with a ton of SMS every day for a very less fixed cost.
  • If you look at a prepaid plan and a postpaid plan today, you will find it hard to differentiate a lot between them if the postpaid plans are under Rs 500.
  • If you are purchasing a Rs 400 postpaid plan from either of the private telcos, you will get very basic benefits.

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Prepaid Plans

When Jio arrived in the Indian telecom market, it started offering unlimited voice calls and unlimited data to the users with a ton of SMS every day for a very less fixed cost. Jio didn’t start with postpaid plans heavily but only focused on the prepaid segment of the market. The companies that couldn’t adopt the model of Jio had to go out of business, and the companies which remained, including Airtel, Vodafone Idea (Vi), and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), now offer the same kind of plans as Jio.

If you look at a prepaid plan and a postpaid plan today, you will find it hard to differentiate a lot between them if the postpaid plans are under Rs 500. Any entry-level postpaid plan offers unlimited voice calling, a fixed amount of data, and very few SMS. At the same time, a decent priced prepaid plan offers all this too but with over-the-top (OTT) benefits and slightly more SMS.

What Should the Telcos Do

If you are purchasing a Rs 400 postpaid plan from either of the private telcos, you will get very basic benefits. Nothing about this entry-level postpaid plan will feel special or very much different from prepaid services.

Thus, there’s a need for the telcos to do more with their entry-level plans before they decide to go with postpaid tariff hikes. It is unclear when the telcos will bump the benefits of postpaid plans, but that day isn’t too far.

After the tariff hikes, if a Rs 500 postpaid plan will offer the same benefits as the Rs 400 postpaid plan, it wouldn’t make a lot of sense for the consumers to go for postpaid services.

What the telcos can do is bundle OTT benefits even with the entry-level postpaid plans and also offer at least one additional SIM card with it. Since it is on a monthly basis, even 10GB more data from what is currently offered will be appreciated by the customers.

Oh, not to forget the limited 100 SMS with most of the plans that the private telcos offer with the postpaid options. That’s just not done when the same companies offer 100 SMS/day with their prepaid plans priced much lesser.

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