As reported in this newspaper on Monday, the impending entry of Reliance Jio has led to a rate war in data services.
Idea Cellular has now cut prices by up to 67 per cent for both third and fourth generation (3G/4G) internet packs for both postpaid and prepaid customers. It Cellular has matched the reduction by market leader Bharti Airtel, which had on Sunday announced a 67 per cent decrease in these rates for prepaid customers.
Earlier, Idea had announced up to 45 per cent reduction in rates on sachet packs below 1 GB.
Reliance Jio Infocomm, arm of Reliance Industries, has announced it would launch commercial 4G services in six to eight weeks. The Mukesh Ambani-led company has already launched a preview offer and has about 1.5 million test-users. Jio said the average monthly consumption per user is in excess of 26 GB, whereas voice usage is 355 minutes.
The stocks of telecom firms took a beating due to the announcements on rates cuts. Airtel's stock slipped four per cent to close at Rs 363.45 on the BSE; Idea shares declined 6.5 per cent to close at Rs 103.90. Reliance Industries' fell 0.8 per cent to close at Rs 1,004.25.
Idea said it was now offering a 10 GB 4G/3G data pack for Rs 990. Idea’s 2 GB data is now priced at Rs 349, as against the earlier Rs 449. “Idea users will now get 5 GB of 4G, 3G data at just Rs 649 – 67 per cent more value than 3GB data earlier,” it said.
The company has also launched 'Freedom' packs, for data services starting at Rs 35, with four weeks’ validity.