(Last Updated On: January 6, 2017)

Now that all leading telecom operators have launched their unlimited voice calling and data combo plans to counter Reliance Jio, the telecom battle in India is taking another turn. The leading network providers are now preparing to launch unlimited data plans for retaining their competitive edge.

Idea Cellular

Recently Airtel announced that it would be offering Rs. 9,000 worth of free data to its subscribers and now India’s #3 telecom operator, Idea Cellular may also start offering unlimited free data plans having 1-1.5 years of validity, as reported by Moneycontrol.

Going by the latest trends, this offer might be available only to the 4G users. It is also reported that Idea might offer free incoming on international roaming on a certain plan along with offering loyalty plans for its subscribers.

All these are the signs of telecom wars getting fiercer in India as Reliance Jio announced the extension of its free offer- ‘Happy New Year Offer’ till 31 March 2017.

Please note that under this offer, Jio is offering free and unlimited voice and video calls to its subscribers anywhere in India, unlimited SMS, and free access to premium content via Jio app suite, and unlimited high-speed 4G data capped to 1 GB/day (128 Kbps thereafter).

Jio would be charging for its services post 31 March, but its combo plans are far too attractive than those offered by the incumbent players.

Seeing that, Airtel recently announced all its Prepaid and Postpaid subscribers (new to Airtel 4G) would be offered 3 GB additional 4G data besides the regular 1 GB standard data on its Rs. 345 plan offering truly unlimited voice calls to any network in India.

Airtel marketed this scheme as offering Rs. 9,000 worth of free data benefits, but what Airtel actually wants is to attract high-end customers for increasing its average ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) from Rs. 188 at present to something above Rs. 200.

It is worth mentioning that Reliance Jio has already crossed 60 million subscriber mark in a very short span of time, thanks to its free and unlimited 4G services.

We will know who the true 4G leader is after Jio starts charging for its services post the expiry of Happy New Year leading to a creation of level playing ground amongst the telecom operators.