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Reliance Jio effect: Airtel offering unlimited calls, 40GB data at Rs 499

New Delhi: Telecom operators are leaving no stone unturned to take on the stiff competition from new entrant Reliance Jio.

In its bid to rival Reliance Jio’s Rs 498 offer, Airtel has come up with a new plan offering unlimited calls, 40GB 3G/4G internet to subscribers at Rs 499.

In Airtel’s Rs 499 postpaid plan, the company is offering 40GB data in 3G/4G internet for a validity period of one month. The package also provides unlimited local, STD, incoming roaming and outgoing roaming calls. Apart from this, it also gives additional benefits like 1-year Amazon Prime subscription and access to Wynk music, Live TV and handset damage protection.

Large operators have been flagging pressure on revenue and profitability, blaming the rock-bottom data tariffs and free offerings of newcomer Reliance Jio for deteriorating financial health of the sector.

While on one hand Reliance Jio accuses incumbent operators of milking the sector using borrowed money, older players like Airtel, Vodafone and Idea blame free voice and data offering by the Mukesh Ambani firm for bleeding the sector.

Notably, last month, Trai said it will impose financial disincentive of up to Rs 50 lakh per circle on operators if their service rates are found to be predatory in nature.

A tariff will be considered predatory if in a relevant market, a telecom operator with over 30 percent market share offers services at a price which is below the average variable cost, with a view to reducing competition or eliminating the competitors in the relevant market.

The regulator has also said that telecom operators will have to provide services to all subscribers availing the same tariff plan in a non-discriminatory manner.

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