Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL) has announced the new prepaid tariff plans which become applicable from December 3, and there are significant changes for prepaid mobile users to wrap their calculations around. The biggest, and perhaps the most important change, is that Vodafone Idea will now charge for calls made outside the Vodafone Idea network, to the tune of Rs 0.06 per minute, once the bundled calls with your recharge packs are exhausted. This is known as the Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC), and this is a big shift from the company’s original stance that all calls will remain free for its users which they had made clear in October when Reliance Jio announced that it will charge for calls made outside the Jio network, once the bundled free calls run out. There are in total 16 new prepaid packs, with different validity and benefits. Vodafone Idea are categorizing the new packs as those that can be called unlimited packs with validity of 28 days, 84 days or 365 days, as well as combo vouchers, unlimited sachet and the first recharge options. Airtel have also announced a similar increase in tariffs and recharge options for prepaid users. Reliance Jio have confirmed that they will be announcing all new all-in-one mobile tariff plans that will be effective from December 6, with unlimited voice calls and bundled data as well as additional benefits for users.
Unlimited packs with 28 days validity
For starters, there are new unlimited packs with 28 days validity. The first is priced at Rs 149 and bundled 2GB data, 300 SMS, unlimited calls within the Vodafone Idea network and a fair usage policy (FUP) of 1000 minutes for off-net calls—such as calls made to Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel and BSNL networks, for instance. The next is the Rs 249 plan which bundles 1.5GB data per day, 100 SMS per day and an off-net voice call FUP of 1000 minutes. The new Rs 299 plan retains similar specs, except that you get a higher daily data limit of 2GB. The highest spec plan in this cluster is the Rs 399 plan which offers 3GB data per day, with the rest of the inclusions remaining the same.
These new 28-day validity packs replace multiple recharge options that were available to Vodafone Idea users till now. The Rs 129 pack offered unlimited calling on local, STD and roaming to all networks across India as well as 2GB data and 100 SMS—this means the new pack offers lesser number of voice calls to other networks and also a smaller free SMS limit. The next step up was the Rs 199 plan that bundled 1.5GB data per day, unlimited calling on local, STD and roaming to all networks across India and 100 SMS per day—this is being replaced by the Rs 249 plan. There is also the Rs 255 recharge option that bundles 2.5GB data per day, but we can perhaps infer that the new Rs 299 plan with 2GB of data replaces it.
Unlimited packs with 84 days validity
Vodafone Idea also has unlimited packs with 84 days validity as well as 3000 minutes of off-net call FUP. The Rs 379 pack bundles 6GB data in total and 1000 SMS. The Rs 599 plan offers 1.5GB data per day and 100 SMS per day while the Rs 699 plan offers 2GB data per day and 100 SMS per day.
At present, Vodafone Idea has the Rs 458 pack that has 84 days validity and offers unlimited calling on local, STD and roaming to all networks across India as well as 1.5GB of data and 100 SMS per day. There is also the Rs 569 recharge plan at the moment which offers 3GB data per day, 100 SMS per day and unlimited calling on local, STD and roaming to all networks across India. We need to also note that Vodafone Idea also offered a Rs 509 pack with 90 days validity that bundled 1.5GB data per day, unlimited calling on local, STD and roaming to all networks across India and 100 SMS per day.
Unlimited packs with 365 days validity
If you wish to do a long-term recharge, there are annual plans as well, with 365 days validity. The Rs 1,499 plan offers 12000 minutes of FUP for calls made to other networks such as Reliance Jio and Airtel, as well as 24GB data and 3600 SMS. The Rs 2,399 plan offers a similar FUP limit, along with 1.5GB data per day and 100 SMS per day.
The new plans will replace the two prepaid plans that Vodafone Idea offers with 365 days validity at the moment. The first is priced at Rs 999 and it includes 12GB of data, 3600 SMS and unlimited calling on local, STD and roaming to all networks across India. The higher spec plan till now was priced at Rs 1,699 and it includes unlimited calling on local, STD and roaming to all networks across India, as well as 1.5GB data per day and 100 SMS per day.
There are combo vouchers as well, priced at Rs 49 which bundles Rs 38 talk-time and 100MB data with calls priced at 2.5 paisa per second and 28-days validity. The Rs 79 pack bundles Rs 64 talk-time and 200 MB data, with calls chargeable at 1 paisa per second and a validity of 28 days.
Unlimited sachet options
Vodafone Idea has one sachet pack, priced at Rs 19 with unlimited calls within the Vodafone Idea network, 150MB of data, 100 SMS and 2 days validity. For this pack, it remains unclear what happens to calls outside the VIL network.
First recharge options
If you are buying a new Vodafone Idea prepaid connection, you’ll have to do what is known as a first recharge (commonly known as FRC). There are four options to choose from now. The Rs 97 option is valid for 28 days and includes Rs 45 talk-time as well as 100MB data and 1 paisa per second call tariff. The Rs 197 option has a validity of 28 days and includes 1000 minutes of FUP for calls made to Reliance Jio, Airtel etc. networks, unlimited calls within the network along with 2GB data and 300 SMS. The Rs 297 option includes the same FUP for off-net calls, unlimited calls within the network and 1.5GB data per day, with the 28 days validity. The Rs 647 plan has a longer validity of 84 days along with 3000 minutes FUP for off-net calls, unlimited calls within the network and 1.5GB data per day.