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. NoOldNew
1Plan NameBest Selling Plan
2TagEntertainmentEntertainment
3Monthly Rental (Rs)399401
4Connections11
5Data40 GB + (50 GB extra For Online Purchase)50 GB + (50 GB extra For Online Purchase)
Roll-Over200 GB200 GB
PayGoRs20/GBRs20/GB
6VoiceUnlimitedUnlimited
7SMS100 SMS/Month3000 SMS/Month
8Night UnlimitedUnlimited data between 12am - 6am
9Additional Plan Benefits
aAmazon Prime (6 month)
bDisney+ Hotstar
cSony Liv (12 Months)Yes (Mobile)
dVi Movies & TVVi Movies and TV app VIP subscriptionVIP access to Vi Movies & TV
eGames1000+ free games on Vi App
fHungama Music on Vi app6 month ad-free Hungama music in Vi App6 month Ad-free Hungama music with Unlimited downloads, in Vi app
gMake My Trip Benefits
hAirport Lounge Access (4 Times per Year)
iIR Pack worth Rs 2999 (once a year)
jZEEZEE5 Premium Movies, Shows on Vi Movies & TV appZEE5 Premium Movies, Originals and TV Shows on Vi Movies & TV app
10Other Benefits
aWall Street Journal
bVi Store Priority Service
cPriority Customer Service

2. Vi Plan 499 vs Vi Plan 501

Sl. NoOldNew
1Plan NameVi Max
2TagEntertainment Plus
Entertainment Plus
3Monthly Rental (Rs)499501
4Connections11
5Data75 GB90 GB
Roll-Over200 GB200 GB
PayGoRs20/GBRs20/GB
6VoiceUnlimitedUnlimited
7SMS100 SMS/Month3000 SMS/Month
8Night UnlimitedUnlimited data between 12am - 6am
9Additional Plan Benefits
aAmazon Prime (6 month)6 month Amazon Prime subscription6-month Amazon Prime subscription
bDisney+ HotstarDisney+ Hotstar Mobile Subscription for 1 year,1 year Disney+ Hotstar Super (TV and Mobile) subscription
cSony Liv (12 Months)
dVi Movies & TVVi Movies and TV app VIP subscriptionVIP access to Vi Movies & TV
eGames1000+ free games on Vi App + 5 Gold
fHungama Music on Vi app6 month ad-free Hungama music in Vi App6 month Ad-free Hungama music with Unlimited downloads, in Vi app
gMake My Trip Benefits
hAirport Lounge Access (4 Times per Year)
iIR Pack worth Rs 2999 (once a year)
jZEEZEE5 Premium Movies, Shows on Vi Movies & TV appZEE5 Premium Movies, Originals and TV Shows on Vi Movies & TV app
10Other Benefits
aWall Street Journal
bVi Store Priority Service
cPriorirty Customer Service

3. Vi Plan 699 vs Vi Plan 701

Sl. NoOldNew
1Plan NameVi Max
2TagEntertainment PlusEntertainment Plus
3Monthly Rental (Rs)699701
4Connections11
5DataUnlimitedUnlimited
Roll-Over
PayGo
6VoiceUnlimitedUnlimited
7SMS100 SMS/Month3000 SMS/Month
8Night Unlimited
9Additional Plan Benefits
aAmazon Prime (6 month)6 month Amazon Prime subscription6-month Amazon Prime subscription
bDisney+ HotstarDisney+ Hotstar Mobile subscription for 1 year1 year Disney+ Hotstar Super (TV and Mobile) subscription
cSony Liv (12 Months)
dVi Movies & TVVi Movies and TV app VIP subscriptionVIP access to Vi Movies & TV
eGames1000+ free games on Vi App + 5 Gold
fHungama Music on Vi app6 month ad-free Hungama music in Vi App6 month Ad-free Hungama music with Unlimited downloads, in Vi app
gMake My Trip Benefits
hAirport Lounge Access (4 Times per Year)
iIR Pack worth Rs 2999 (once a year)
jZEEZEE5 Premium Movies, Shows on Vi Movies & TV appZEE5 Premium Movies, Originals and TV Shows on Vi Movies & TV app
10Other Benefits
aWall Street Journal1 year full digital access (coming soon)
bVi Store Priority Service
cPriority Customer Service

4. Vi Plan 1099 vs Vi Plan 1101

Sl. NoOldNew
1Plan NameRed X
2TagRED XRED X
3Monthly Rental (Rs)10991101
4Connections11
5DataUnlimitedUnlimited
Roll-Over
PayGo
6VoiceUnlimitedUnlimited
7SMS100 SMS/Month3000 SMS per month
8Night Unlimited
9Additional Plan Benefits
aNetflixNetflix on your TV & Mobile, annual membership
bAmazon Prime (6 month)6-month Amazon Prime subscription6-month Amazon Prime subscription
cDisney+ HotstarDisney+ Hotstar Mobile Subscription for 1 year1 year Disney+ Hotstar Super (TV and Mobile) subscription
dSony Liv (12 Months)12-month SonyLiv Premium (TV and mobile) subscription
eVi Movies & TVVIP access to Vi Movies & TV
fGamesEnjoy over 1000+ games on Vi App, with FREE 5 Gold Games every month
gHungama Music on Vi appAd-free Hungama music with Unlimited downloads on Vi AppAd-free Hungama music with Unlimited downloads on Vi App
hMake My Trip Benefits6-10% discount on booking, upto Rs 2000 off on flights and Rs 5000 off on hotels
iAirport 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)
jIR Pack worth Rs 2999 (once a year)7 days International roaming pack worth Rs 29997 days International Roaming pack worth Rs2999 once a year
kZEEZEE5 Premium Movies, Shows on Vi Movies & TV appZEE5 Premium Movies, Originals and TV Shows on Vi Movies & TV app
10Other Benefits
aWall Street Journal1 year full digital access (coming soon)
bPriority ServicePriority help through Virtual relationship managerJump the queue at Vi Stores
cPriority Customer ServicePriority 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. Noas on MonthWireless SubscribersNet AdditionVLR (%)
1March 31 2022260,774,732-281831986.7
2April 30 2022259,206,066-156866685.77
3May 31 2022258,446,808-75925885.14
4June 30 2022256,645,622-180118685.2
5July 31 2022255,102,703-154291985.03
6August 31 2022253,144,350-195835384.65

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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