What Is the Relevance of Time-Bound Data Plans in Current Market Scenario Where Monthly Plans Have an Edge

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Of late, merger and acquisitions in Indian telecom sector became the talk of the town. Vodafone and Idea Cellular have decided to merge and form a single telecom entity, which will overtake Bharti Airtel to become India's largest telecom operator. Bharti Airtel has acquired Telenor, whereas Reliance Communications (RCom) and Aircel has received all the necessary approvals for a merger.


Telcos are coming up with time-based plans to get as many subscribers as possible. Vodafone has recently launched a Rs. 29 (varies depending upon the circle) unlimited 3G/4G internet pack for prepaid users. The pack is valid from 1 AM in the night to 6 AM in the morning. It is to be noted that this pack offers truly unlimited data (no pun intended), and the user can download without any usage or speed limit for one-day validity. But the plan lacks free talk time benefits. Aircel has also introduced ‘Good Morning Pack’ offering 1GB of 3G/2G Data from 7 AM to 9 AM at Just Rs. 3 per day.

Operator Airtel Aircel Vodafone
Plan Name Rs.499 Good Morning Pack SuperNight
Plan Cost Rs.499 Rs.3 Rs.29
Validity 70 days. 1 Day (2 hours) 1 Day (5 hours)
Data 1.25 GB per day. 1 GB Unlimited.
Call Yes. No calls. No calls.
Data Availability 24 hours. 7AM to 9AM. 1AM to 6AM.
Effective cost per day. Rs. 7.13 Rs.3 Rs.29
Roaming Chargeable Chargeable Chargeable
Restriction Fair Usage for calls. No free call and SMS. No free call and SMS.
Offer 5% cashback on using Airtel Payment Bank. Check Aircel website. No cashback / discount offer by Vodafone.

Monthly unlimited packs charge for the complete 28/30 days and offer limited daily data as well as free talk time. Airtel’s Rs.499 monthly plan offers 1.25 GB per day and free calls. Time-based packs are for users who will be online for a particular duration. Vodafone’s Super Night pack of Rs. 29 can come handy for a user who is active during the night and downloads a lot. Aircel’s Rs. 3 plan is for less internet savvy users who only need the internet once a while in a day. Time-based packs are meant to be used in a particular time slot when the traffic is low.

With new and cheaper monthly plans coming every day, the time-based plans may fall behind in the race.

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