Ever since Reliance Jio entered the Indian telecom market, the perception towards the prepaid segment in the country has changed. Earlier, people used to prefer postpaid plans over prepaid plans, especially the data hungry users. But Jio changed the entire scenario as it started providing 1GB of data at less than Rs 10, something we haven't heard during the best times of Airtel and Vodafone Idea (back then Vodafone and Idea Cellular). Even today, a lot of users are picking up prepaid connections from telecom operators like Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea, but postpaid plans offer free access to OTT subscriptions. Reliance Jio is not popular in the postpaid segment, but incumbents- Airtel and Vodafone Idea are providing a lot of benefits at just Rs 499, including subscriptions of Netflix, Amazon Prime and ZEE5. And yes, the data benefit is also way better than what we used to get earlier with postpaid plans.
Postpaid Plans from Airtel and Vodafone Idea: Where They Excel?
Airtel and Vodafone Idea are providing a similar set of postpaid plans to the customers. Bharti Airtel's postpaid plans with access to OTT subscriptions start at Rs 499 and same is the case with Vodafone Idea. Airtel's Rs 499 monthly postpaid plan offers 75GB of data, unlimited voice calling to any number across the country, 100 SMSes per day, free Netflix subscription worth Rs 1,500, one-year of Amazon Prime membership, ZEE5 Premium subscription worth Rs 99 every month, Handset protection and data rollover facility up to 500GB. And if a user chooses premium plans like Rs 749, Rs 999 and Rs 1,599, then Airtel will also provide add-on connections with which a subscriber can save a lot of money.
Airtel does have a Rs 299 prepaid plan that offers Amazon Prime subscription for one month, but it's not enough to beat the postpaid plan of Rs 499.
On the flip side, Vodafone Idea is also providing a Rs 499 postpaid plan that offers benefits like 75GB data with rollover up to 200GB, unlimited voice calling, Amazon Prime subscription for one year, ZEE5 premium at no extra cost and Mobile Shield protection service. And the benefits will only get better if a customer chooses premium plans of Rs 649 or Rs 999 or Rs 1,299. Additionally, Vodafone Idea introduced special family postpaid plans with free add-on connections onboard.
What are the Advantages of Prepaid Plans?
Now, prepaid plans offer better validity at the same price of postpaid plans. For example, Airtel has a Rs 499 prepaid plan as well which ships with benefits of 2GB data per day, unlimited voice calling and 100 SMSes per day for a period of 82 days, unlike the one-month postpaid cycle. This is where the OTT app subscriptions and data rollover facility come into the picture. Prepaid plans surely offer users better validity like the Rs 499 plan, but postpaid plans ship with OTT subscriptions like Amazon Prime membership, Netflix and so on.
Prepaid or Postpaid: Which is Better Right Now?
This question has been in several users mind for a while now and the confusion is only getting bigger with each passing day. Assume the prepaid plan of Rs 499 and postpaid plan of Rs 499. For one year, excluding the taxes, the postpaid charges will be Rs 5,988, and for the same period, prepaid charges would be Rs 1,996 (for 328 days) and one-month recharge of Rs 249 plan make the overall charges to Rs 2,245. Yes, consumers are saving a lot with prepaid plans, but now, let's count the charges of OTT subscriptions being given to the users.
The one-year subscription of Amazon Prime costs Rs 999, followed by Netflix Basic subscription for three months of Rs 1,500. And then there's the Rs 99 ZEE5 Premium subscription being give to the users every month. Excluding the Mobile Security option itself, these OTT subscription charges come around Rs 3,867 (Rs 999+Rs 1,500+Rs 1,188 for ZEE5). This comparison is for the Airtel postpaid plan of Rs 499 and do make a note that Vodafone does not offer Netflix subscription for plans priced below Rs 999.
If we look in this way, the postpaid plans offer better value because prepaid users of Airtel will have to purchase these OTT subscriptions separately, but postpaid plans come bundled with these services for free. Lastly, postpaid plans also provide add-on connections which will save additional costs for the users and there's data rollover facility as well, which comes in extremely handy.
All in all, postpaid plans aren't that bad in the current scenario, at least those of Airtel and Vodafone Idea. But still, if you're someone who doesn't care about watching Netflix or Amazon Prime or ZEE5, then prepaid plans should be your go-to choice.