Airtel has seemingly made official a new Rs 289 tariff plan for prepaid users across India. USP of this plan is that it comes with a validity of 48 days, unlike the hugely dominant 28 day validity plans offered by the telco. The Airtel Rs 289 plan is also available for availing at this point in time.
Now, the plan seems to be targeted more at prepaid consumers preferring to indulge in voice calls; more than indulging in internet usage as the plan offers unlimited voice calls and only 1GB data (during its entire validity period), along with 100 conventional text messages per day.
Airtel’s Rs 289 plan is applicable on a PAN-India basis, and also offers free roaming along with STD calling. The 1GB data is applicable to both 3G as well as 4G consumers across the country.
Going by what is on offer, the Airtel Rs 289 prepaid recharge plan could apparently be intended for feature phone users having subscribed to Airtel prepaid subscribers. At this instant, it is worth noting that feature phone shipments in India have been going steady in comparsion with that of smartphones. This trend is a clear indicator that feature phone users are also still in considerable majority (though not in absolute majority) in India.
Also, with the penetration of Reliance Jio’s Jio Phone 4G-LTE feature phone now being relatively aggressive (due to the fact that essential apps like WhatsApp, YouTube, and Facebook have made their debuts on Jio Phone), the feature phone users segment has undoubtedly received a boost.
Hence, it makes sense for the incumbent telcos to come out with plans targeting the feature phone users community. It is also worth noting that feature phones also allow internet access to users; and Airtel’s Rs 289 plan could hold such users in good stead more than that of their smartphone counterparts for whom phone usage without continuous connectivity is seemingly unimaginable.
Nonetheless, there has been healthy competition in the Indian telecom sector in the 4G-LTE domain; it now is only a matter of time before the newest 5G standards make their debut in the country.