Vodafone Idea Lowers Postpaid Tariffs, Can it Help Reduce Subscriber Churn

The telco has added 3000 SMS/Month on all the plans for the first time after many years. So far, was providing 100 SMS/month, and when customers got habituated to using Instant messengers, we feel this move in the SMS segment is no help.

Highlights

  • Vodafone Idea (Vi) recently announced new postpaid plans with Vi Max branding.
  • The new plans are now available for the customers.
  • Vodafone Idea has lowered the tariffs in a way for the customers.

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Vodafone Idea

Vodafone Idea (Vi) recently announced new postpaid plans with Vi Max branding. The telco brought in four new postpaid plans for the users. Vi has also brought back the REDX branded plan. It removed all the REDX plans from the platform a couple of days back in a silent manner. Now with the new Vi Max, postpaid plans from Vi have been loaded with additional benefits. Even the concerns around a lower amount of SMSes have been addressed by Vi. The postpaid tariffs seem to be lowered with these new plans as they offer more benefits and cost nearly the same as some of the old plans. But the question is, are these plans good enough to help with subscriber churn? Let's find out.

Let's now analyse what has changed between the Old and New Postpaid plans, tabulated below. While these plans appear like a hike with the Rs 2 increment on every rental, they are actually further lowering the postpaid segment tariffs by offering additional data and unlimited night usage and other components.

Although we feel these plans will not help any significant ARPU rise, considering the nature of the postpaid segment, this is a surprising move as the management, on multiple instances, commented that the current Industry tariffs are not sustainable. With the New Plan Benefits, it is clear that the tariffs are lowered further with a Rs 2 nominal increase in plan rentals.

Also, we believe the postpaid segment of users look for Network Quality, Voice Experience, VoLTE, and Vo-Wi-Fi experience first, followed by the 'miscellaneous' benefits of the plans.

Vodafone Idea Old Vs New Postpaid Plans

1. Vi Plan 399 vs Vi Plan 401

Sl. No Old New
1 Plan Name Best Selling Plan
2 Tag Entertainment Entertainment
3 Monthly Rental (Rs) 399 401
4 Connections 1 1
5 Data 40 GB + (50 GB extra For Online Purchase) 50 GB + (50 GB extra For Online Purchase)
Roll-Over 200 GB 200 GB
PayGo Rs20/GB Rs20/GB
6 Voice Unlimited Unlimited
7 SMS 100 SMS/Month 3000 SMS/Month
8 Night Unlimited Unlimited data between 12am - 6am
9 Additional Plan Benefits
a Amazon Prime (6 month)
b Disney+ Hotstar
c Sony Liv (12 Months) Yes (Mobile)
d Vi Movies & TV Vi Movies and TV app VIP subscription VIP access to Vi Movies & TV
e Games 1000+ free games on Vi App
f Hungama Music on Vi app 6 month ad-free Hungama music in Vi App 6 month Ad-free Hungama music with Unlimited downloads, in Vi app
g Make My Trip Benefits
h Airport Lounge Access (4 Times per Year)
i IR Pack worth Rs 2999 (once a year)
j ZEE ZEE5 Premium Movies, Shows on Vi Movies & TV app ZEE5 Premium Movies, Originals and TV Shows on Vi Movies & TV app
10 Other Benefits
a Wall Street Journal
b Vi Store Priority Service
c Priority Customer Service

2. Vi Plan 499 vs Vi Plan 501

Sl. No Old New
1 Plan Name Vi Max
2 Tag Entertainment Plus
Entertainment Plus
3 Monthly Rental (Rs) 499 501
4 Connections 1 1
5 Data 75 GB 90 GB
Roll-Over 200 GB 200 GB
PayGo Rs20/GB Rs20/GB
6 Voice Unlimited Unlimited
7 SMS 100 SMS/Month 3000 SMS/Month
8 Night Unlimited Unlimited data between 12am - 6am
9 Additional Plan Benefits
a Amazon Prime (6 month) 6 month Amazon Prime subscription 6-month Amazon Prime subscription
b Disney+ Hotstar Disney+ Hotstar Mobile Subscription for 1 year, 1 year Disney+ Hotstar Super (TV and Mobile) subscription
c Sony Liv (12 Months)
d Vi Movies & TV Vi Movies and TV app VIP subscription VIP access to Vi Movies & TV
e Games 1000+ free games on Vi App + 5 Gold
f Hungama Music on Vi app 6 month ad-free Hungama music in Vi App 6 month Ad-free Hungama music with Unlimited downloads, in Vi app
g Make My Trip Benefits
h Airport Lounge Access (4 Times per Year)
i IR Pack worth Rs 2999 (once a year)
j ZEE ZEE5 Premium Movies, Shows on Vi Movies & TV app ZEE5 Premium Movies, Originals and TV Shows on Vi Movies & TV app
10 Other Benefits
a Wall Street Journal
b Vi Store Priority Service
c Priorirty Customer Service

3. Vi Plan 699 vs Vi Plan 701

Sl. No Old New
1 Plan Name Vi Max
2 Tag Entertainment Plus Entertainment Plus
3 Monthly Rental (Rs) 699 701
4 Connections 1 1
5 Data Unlimited Unlimited
Roll-Over
PayGo
6 Voice Unlimited Unlimited
7 SMS 100 SMS/Month 3000 SMS/Month
8 Night Unlimited
9 Additional Plan Benefits
a Amazon Prime (6 month) 6 month Amazon Prime subscription 6-month Amazon Prime subscription
b Disney+ Hotstar Disney+ Hotstar Mobile subscription for 1 year 1 year Disney+ Hotstar Super (TV and Mobile) subscription
c Sony Liv (12 Months)
d Vi Movies & TV Vi Movies and TV app VIP subscription VIP access to Vi Movies & TV
e Games 1000+ free games on Vi App + 5 Gold
f Hungama Music on Vi app 6 month ad-free Hungama music in Vi App 6 month Ad-free Hungama music with Unlimited downloads, in Vi app
g Make My Trip Benefits
h Airport Lounge Access (4 Times per Year)
i IR Pack worth Rs 2999 (once a year)
j ZEE ZEE5 Premium Movies, Shows on Vi Movies & TV app ZEE5 Premium Movies, Originals and TV Shows on Vi Movies & TV app
10 Other Benefits
a Wall Street Journal 1 year full digital access (coming soon)
b Vi Store Priority Service
c Priority Customer Service

4. Vi Plan 1099 vs Vi Plan 1101

Sl. No Old New
1 Plan Name Red X
2 Tag RED X RED X
3 Monthly Rental (Rs) 1099 1101
4 Connections 1 1
5 Data Unlimited Unlimited
Roll-Over
PayGo
6 Voice Unlimited Unlimited
7 SMS 100 SMS/Month 3000 SMS per month
8 Night Unlimited
9 Additional Plan Benefits
a Netflix Netflix on your TV & Mobile, annual membership
b Amazon Prime (6 month) 6-month Amazon Prime subscription 6-month Amazon Prime subscription
c Disney+ Hotstar Disney+ Hotstar Mobile Subscription for 1 year 1 year Disney+ Hotstar Super (TV and Mobile) subscription
d Sony Liv (12 Months) 12-month SonyLiv Premium (TV and mobile) subscription
e Vi Movies & TV VIP access to Vi Movies & TV
f Games Enjoy over 1000+ games on Vi App, with FREE 5 Gold Games every month
g Hungama Music on Vi app Ad-free Hungama music with Unlimited downloads on Vi App Ad-free Hungama music with Unlimited downloads on Vi App
h Make My Trip Benefits 6-10% discount on booking, upto Rs 2000 off on flights and Rs 5000 off on hotels
i Airport Lounge Access (4 Times per Year) Access to International & Domestic airport lounges at no extra cost - 4 times per year (including 1 International) International & Domestic airport lounge access (upto 4 times per year incl. 1 International)
j IR Pack worth Rs 2999 (once a year) 7 days International roaming pack worth Rs 2999 7 days International Roaming pack worth Rs2999 once a year
k ZEE ZEE5 Premium Movies, Shows on Vi Movies & TV app ZEE5 Premium Movies, Originals and TV Shows on Vi Movies & TV app
10 Other Benefits
a Wall Street Journal 1 year full digital access (coming soon)
b Priority Service Priority help through Virtual relationship manager Jump the queue at Vi Stores
c Priority Customer Service Priority customer service, 20-sec call pick up

Vi Data Benefits:

As plans Rs 701 and Rs 1101 come with unlimited data benefits, 10GB and 15GB extra data are added to the Rs 401 and Rs 501 monthly rental plans, respectively.

Vi SMS Benefit:

The telco has added 3000 SMS/Month on all the plans for the first time after many years. So far, was providing 100 SMS/month, and when customers got habituated to using Instant messengers, we feel this move in the SMS segment is no help.

Vi Night Unlimited Benefit:

As Rental plans Rs 701 and Rs 1101 already come with Unlimited Data benefits, the Night unlimited component is added to the two lowest plans Rs 401 and Rs 501.

Night Unlimited, a tariff component, which may be of help to some users, only if the Network is good for them. If Unlimited Night does wonders, the subscriber numbers should speak that by now. As 12-6 am is an odd time, savvy users may take advantage of the benefit to get the max out of the plan. We believe a maximum of the postpaid segment of users don't fall under this usage category and are a premium segment. However, it depends on specific users and instances.

Vi Unlimited Data benefits Usage:

Data usage by any Individual subscriber on a GSM POSTPAID plan with 'UNLIMITED DATA' & Voice benefits having data usage greater than 150 GB along with voice usage less than 50 minutes (including incoming calls) in a billing cycle will be termed as commercial/Non-Retail usage of Data.

Netflix:

While Netflix benefit is removed, SonyLiv is added to the RedX plan.

Vi Games:

All the plans now come with Vi Games.

Vi RedX:

No changes in Airport Lounge and IR Access packs. Priority customer service, 20-sec call pick up and skip the queue at Vi Store benefit.

We believe any unlimited offering would make sense to postpaid users only if they experience a quality Network with Voice and Data followed by other QoS parameters and benefits. No customer would be happy to stick with a telco without the core objectives getting served.

Vi Wireless Subscriber Base: TRAI

Sl. No as on Month Wireless Subscribers Net Addition VLR (%)
1 March 31 2022 260,774,732 -2818319 86.7
2 April 30 2022 259,206,066 -1568666 85.77
3 May 31 2022 258,446,808 -759258 85.14
4 June 30 2022 256,645,622 -1801186 85.2
5 July 31 2022 255,102,703 -1542919 85.03
6 August 31 2022 253,144,350 -1958353 84.65

Conclusion:

Usually, postpaid is the high ARPU driving segment for any telco. The wireless subscriber numbers as per TRAI for the last six months show that subscriber loss is happening every month. So, with these numbers, we can infer that the lucrative benefits offered by the telco are not holding subscribers.

Only time will tell if Vodafone Idea's New Vi Max Postpaid Plans will help the telco increase its ARPU and reduce subscriber loss. We need to wait and watch till then.

Reported By

Telecom Analyst

Passionately following the Indian #Telecom Industry for over a decade from Business, Consumer and a Technical perspective. My primary focus area is Consumer & Digital Experience.

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