Prepaid plans are the backbone of the telecom industry. Even though the postpaid plans get more revenue to the telecom companies owing to their high earning status, most people in India rely on prepaid plans for their day-to-day calling and data needs. These prepaid plans last went through an accelerated evolution when Reliance Jio bundled data and calling in a single plan and reduced the per GB data price by quite a margin.
Following suit, the other telecom operators did the same. However, half a decade later, the prepaid plans of Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea, and Bharti Airtel differ a little bit and are starting to diverge. We list out some of the things which should be present in all portfolios for the sake of not only the best experience of the customers but for better commercials of the companies as well.
A Daily Data Add-On Plan
The daily data add-on plan became popular courtesy of the IPL and Cricket based plans introduced first by Reliance Jio. Under these plans, the telcos offers usually 1.5 GB data per day in addition to the daily limit of the data available to them under the traditional plans. These plans do not come with any calling facility and serve as data add-on. Instead of data add-on plans which get you all the data at once and have generally less economic per-data pricing, these are a better choice for someone who wants more data on a daily basis for some days.
Data Rollover & Weekend Binge
This is something that Vodafone Idea seems to be doing right with some of its plans. A lot of data goes into waste for people who cannot use it on weekdays. As a result, even if people have to use 3GB data for a single day in a week, they get a recharge of 3GB daily data. The presence of data rollover and Weekend Binge like services will help the customers avoid this. These unique services can also help the telecom operators in preparing the customers for a slight price hike in the coming days because they will eventually have to shell out something in lieu of asking for more from the customers.
It’s high time that prepaid plans start giving out more subscription-based services to the customers. Long gone are the times when there used to be a handful of streaming services. On the lower end of the pricing spectrum, the plans can be bundled with some OTT content, whereas the higher end plans have already started to come with Disney+, Hotstar, Amazon Prime, and other subscriptions.
The addition of these services should not be seen as a stepback in decreasing ARPU, but on the other hand, people who get hooked on these services are likely to come back for more and ask for more data from the telecom companies.
There are very few plans in the prepaid portfolio that offer proper ISD calling, as a result, users have to go out of their way to pay for different ISD plans. This can be reduced by making the prepaid portfolio more foreign-friendly especially for travellers. Different sets of plans can be curated depending on how many services - calling or SMS, happen on the international network. Making these changes will surely serve as a milestone for the second stage evolution of the prepaid plans.