Airtel launches Rs 995 prepaid plan; what was the company thinking?

Does this plan even need to exist?

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The ongoing competition with Jio and Vodafone seems to have driven Airtel nuts, and not in the good sense, where one expects being showered with crazy amount of data at an unbelievable price. This is the other kind. We are talking about the latest Airtel Rs 995 prepaid plan. We could think of no logical reason for its existence (and we are hoping that the folks at Airtel would enlighten us themselves). Before I share the reasons for my bewilderment, let’s take a look at what this new Airtel plan has to offer.

Here’s what the new Airtel Rs 995 plan is all about

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With the new Rs 995 plan, Airtel has suddenly come to realise their love towards prepaid users who prioritise calls over data. As a result, it provides unlimited voice calls for 180 days – local, STD and roaming. But at the same time, users end up receiving only 1GB high-speed data per month. Since the plan has a validity of 180 days, users end up getting up to 6GB data during the stipulated period. Other benefits include daily 100 SMS.

So what’s wrong with the plan?

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It would have been a perfectly acceptable plan had Airtel not offered other plans with far better benefits at more or less the same cost. Here are a couple of examples to prove my point.

Airtel Rs 509 plan provides 1.4GB daily data in addition to unlimited local/STD/roaming calls and 100 daily SMS for 90 days. If you purchase two consecutive recharges of this plan, you end up availing up to 252GB high-speed data along with other benefits for the exact duration of 180 days. Yes, you will end up paying a mere Rs 23 extra, which shouldn’t be much of a problem in exchange of 246GB extra data.

What do I do with so much data, you ask? Alright, let’s look at plan B.

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A couple of other existing Airtel prepaid plans costing Rs 399 and Rs 146 offer 1GB daily data and unlimited calling for 84 days and 28 days respectively. So, if you purchase Rs 399 plan twice followed by Rs 146 plan, you end up with 196GB high-speed data for 196 days. That adds up to Rs 944.

And guess what, this way, you not only end up paying Rs 51 less but also get 190GB extra data and 16 days extra validity along with all other benefits as compared to Airtel Rs 995 plan. Simple math, isn’t it? Well, we did ours, time for Airtel to do theirs.