Roadblock in Airtel’s Data Future: Reliance Jio - Follow Me Around
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Roadblock in Airtel’s Data Future: Reliance Jio

When the telecom market couldn’t see any more intense competition, the launch of fourth-generation services by Reliance Jio Infocomm came as a nightmare for the Airtel. Analysts have shown concerns over the future of data growth of the telecom giant. The consumer database barely scratched the surface of increment with only 1.6% of growth in the last quarter. Gopal Vittal, managing director and chief executive officer, India and South Asia blames the cost of devices to be the slowdown factor for new additions in consumer base for Airtel.

Now how does, the entry of Reliance Jio has sabotaged the growth rate of Airtel? Well, we can point the offers and schemes it offers for starters.  Though Reliance Jio is not commercially launched to run in markets, but it has built a consumer base of nearly 1.5 million users in its trail phase. The launch is set on 15 August and the consumer base is expected to increase exponentially after then. Reliance Jio offers considerable speed with jaw-dropping data offer. Compared to Airtel, which offers in general 4P/Kb as data charge; Reliance Jio takes the crown as it is 8 times cheaper- 0.5P/kb. This comparison is when you don’t have a data plan or have exhausted it. The data plans also have considerable differences in them, as Reliance Jio clouds all plans of Airtel.

While Jio is all set to go Fast and Furious upon all other telecom giants, Airtel has already started working on countermeasures. Airtel has launched new plans that bundle unlimited voice calls with data; to slow down Jio’s marathon. The bundle pack comes of Rs.1, 199, that offers unlimited mobile calls along with bundled 3G/4G data on its postpaid connections. But Airtel’s nightmare doesn’t seem to end here only, as Reliance Jio is going to slash its LYF headset rates by 25% as well. Now the new price will be 2,999/- compared to the previous 8,999/- with 3 months of unlimited 4G experience. All other network operators like Vodafone and Idea are already balancing their data plans, as they are offering up to 67 percent more data for 2G, 3G and 4G services at no extra cost since last month.

Bharti Airtel’s Director – Operations (India & South Asia) Ajai Puri, said in a press release that, “With ‘myPlan Infinity’, we are making voice calls free for our customers and offering them the flexibility to combine this benefit with their individual data requirements”.

Now maybe we can see the lines of concerns on the foreheads of Airtel officials, but still it will be interesting to see the telecom war in the coming next few months as Reliance Jio is targeting to lure customers into the world’s second largest smartphone market whereas Airtel, Vodafone and Idea have already spent trillions of dollars in expanding their business and they won’t step down easily.

Anyhow, it’s we (the customers) who will get the pie in the cat fight here, so cheers to that!