After advising restraint in the fight with new operator Reliance Jio, it seems to be the turn of Idea Cellular and its partner Vodafone to slash prices.
Both operators have cut the price of the cheapest unlimited voice and data pack to the Rs 150 range from Rs 200 range, bringing them into direct competition with Reliance Jio.
This has left Airtel as the only operator still charging Rs 199 for its entry-level unlimited pack.
The latest offers are available in the ‘only for you’ sections of their selfcare portals.
The move comes in the wake of repeated price cuts by new entrant Reliance Jio.
Jio had first cut the price of its 1GB/day monthly pack to Rs 149 from Rs 199 in early January.
This led to an increase by Bharti Airtel in its data allocation of its Rs 199 plan from 1 GB to 1.4 GB per day.
After this, Reliance Jio too increased its allocation on its entry-level plan from 1 GB per day to 1.5 GB per day, which was where things were standing before today’s cuts.
Put differently, the entry-level offers from Jio and Airtel differ largely in price (Rs 149 vs Rs 199), while the entry-level offers from Vodafone-Idea and Jio differ largely in data allocation (1 GB vs 1.5 GB).
With the cut, Vodafone-Idea has become more attractive compared to Bharti Airtel for entry-level users as the cost of the pack is only Rs 149 in case of Idea and Rs 159 in case of Vodafone.
This is particularly true for voice users.
In voice, Vodafone and Idea are offering unlimited calls at around Rs 5.32-5.60 per day versus Rs 7.11 per day charged by Airtel.
Their voice charges, in fact, are at par with what Jio has to offer.
On the other hand, when one looks at data, both Jio and Airtel hold a slight edge over Vodafone-Idea.
Under its 199 scheme, Airtel offers data at Rs 5.08 per GB compared to Rs 5.32 per GB charged by Idea.
The difference with Jio is even steeper, as charges only Rs 3.55 per GB under its 149 plan compared to over Rs 5 per GB for Vodafone and Idea.
Moreover, it should also be noted that Idea imposes a limit of 1,000 minutes of voice calls per week on its unlimited pack, while the new operator does not.