It’s been not more than six months since the inception of Reliance Jio in the Indian telecom sector, and it has already changed the entire telecom scene in the country. With free 4G data, unlimited voice calls to any network within India, and free access to various other services in the offering, Reliance Jio has literally urged other telecom operators in the country to cut down the prices for their offerings. You either provide bang for the buck, or you are out of the scene now. There’s no other way to see it.
Either way, it is the consumer who is benefiting on a large scale with the unprecedented change in the Indian telecom sector. Moreover, now that Jio has already pulled the wraps off its Prime membership program, users (regardless of their current networks) are going to get similar benefits, if not better, for at least one more year.
The question is which users are benefiting the most, prepaid or postpaid? Well, before drawing any conclusions, let’s just see how the prepaid and postpaid plans differ in terms of data, voice calls, and several other factors.
Post the announcement of Reliance Jio’s Prime membership program, all the major telcos in the country including the likes of Airtel, Idea, and Vodafone have launched similar plans with relatively similar price tags to offer unlimited voice calls to any network within the country.
On the other hand, postpaid users get access to unlimited voice calls anyway. So, there’s not much of a difference in terms of voice calls.
The big difference between prepaid and postpaid plans though comes in the form of data. While before the Jio Prime plan, it was definitely the postpaid plans that had the upper hand over the prepaid plans. However, things have changed drastically now, and prepaid plans are offering better bang for the buck. For example, consider Airtel’s RC343 (prepaid), it offers 1GB data every day for 28 days whereas the RC499 (postpaid) plan offers only 3GB of data for the entire month.
Now, it’s also true that you get only 500MB during the daytime and the rest of the 500MB can be used only between 12 AM to 6 AM. But, you get the idea right? Prepaid plans still offer a better deal over the postpaid plans (at least that’s how it is right now). This is more or less the case with other operators as well.
If you asked us the same question whether prepaid plans were better than postpaid plans a while ago, our answer would have been different. However, looking at the current tariff plans, the line between prepaid and postpaid plans across most of the networks seems to have blurred to a great extent. And, prepaid plans appear to have the upper hand now.
That said, do make a note that subscribing to postpaid plans has its own set of advantages. For example, you get free text messages and free access to music and other online content. But again, there are other free alternatives which can serve the same purpose if you are on a prepaid plan.
So yeah, if voice and data are the primary concerns, prepaid plans seem to be the way to go (for now, at least).
What do you think? Prepaid or postpaid? Which plans offer the best value for money now? Let us know your views in the comments below.