Yes, Airtel has given us unlimited data plans in Nigeria, and we are ‘supposed to be happy’. However, what the India-owned telecom company is giving in its native country is out-of-this-world. The firm has just introduced a package called Airtel Rs.349 pack, which gives unlimited calls and 28GB data bundle for Rs.349.
Even though the Naira is currently weak and helpless, when you convert that amount to Naira, it approximates to ₦1950 only. Yes, ₦1950 only!
Airtel, fully called Bharti Airtel in India, didn’t just take a dive down to introduce such an unbelievable offer; it was due to a strong competition from a new comer, Reliance Jio. Less than a year that the company started off in India, it has accumulated over 125 million subscribers — thanks to its very, very cheap data bundle and call offer.
Since its inception, Jio offers, among other plans, a Rs.349 plan, which gives unlimited calls to all networks (in India), 20GB of data, and unlimited free SMSes. And the plan is valid for 56 days.
As a result of the mouth-watering offers from the new comer, a lot of Indians started switching to Jio. But to mitigate against losing their subscribers, Airtel and other telecoms (like Vodafone) in India introduced offers that will compete with those of Jio’s. And so Vodafone first introduced a Rs.392 pack and now Airtel has introduced a Rs.349 pack, a package that costs the same as that of Jio’s.
The Vodafone’s Rs.392 pack (an equivalent of ₦2200) gives unlimited calls and 28GB data bundle; the Airtel Rs.349 pack gives unlimited calls to all networks and 28GB data bundle.
The Airtel Rs.349 pack didn’t come without terms and conditions, though. The plan allows subscribers to use a maximum of 1GB data in a day, and of 250 minutes call in a day, and it’s only valid for 28 days. When the limit is exceeded, subscribers will need to pay 10 paise per minute for calls to Airtel numbers, and 30 paise per minute for calls to other networks.
What can be deduced from this reduction in the cost of Airtel packs is that competition is good, for the subscribers. It makes things cheaper.
But the question now is, why is NCC trying to increase the cost of data plans and tariff plans in Nigeria? And why do telecom operators always wait for a fierce competitor to reduce price drastically before others join in the reduction?