In 2014/2015, India had 6 to 7 major telecom operators. Within a year of JIO entering the market, firms such as Telenor, Aircel, Tata Docomo, Reliance Communications sold their infrastructure to Airtel, Idea, Vodafone, and JIO. Airtel is the only telecom company that has not been affected by Reliance JIO. Idea and Vodafone lost a substantial number of users to JIO. Airtel’s subscriber base has been growing steadily since 2017. In February 2021, the company added 3.7 million subscribers. In March 2021, April 2021, the firm added more subscribers than JIO. The reason why Airtel has survived the JIO storm is its vast high-quality network and prepaid plans that are priced in the same range as JIO. At one time, Airtel had different prepaid plans for each telecom circle. Now, the firm has 20 to 30 plans. The plans are the same for each circle.
Airtel’s current and latest plans can be grouped into 4 categories – 1GB, 1.5GB, 2GB, 3GB (on the basis of mobile data). Below, we’ve shared the details of each pack Airtel has launched for its users:
Airtel latest plans
2GB/day packs (short validity)
Airtel has introduced seven 2GB per day packs. The 449 Rs plan comes with 56 days validity. The 698, 558 Rs pack has a validity of 84 and 56 days respectively. The 298, 349, 599 plans expire after 28, 28, and 56 days. Among these three packs, only the 599 plan offers a free subscription to Disney + Hotstar VIP service.
The telecom firm lets users recharge their number with these packs:
|Price of the pack||Validity in days|
You can recharge your prepaid number with Rs 558, 448, or 398 pack if you want to consume 3GB of data per day. These 3 packs expire after 56, 28, and 28 days respectively.
The Rs 401 cricket pack was introduced during the IPL season. It offers 30GB of data for 28 days. Airtel also added 3 existing plans (2698, 599, 448) to the Cricket pack.
Airtel has launched three yearly plans priced at 2698, 2498, and 1498 Rs. If you recharge your number with the 1498 Rs pack, you’ll get 24GB of data. Users recharging their numbers with either of the remaining two plans will get 2GB/data every day. The 2698 Rs pack users will get access to Disney + Hotstar VIP plan for free. In case you’re not aware, the VIP plan of Hotstar costs Rs 399.
Smart recharge packs
In addition to the above plans, the telecom operator has launched Smart Recharge packs for users that don’t use mobile data nor do they require unlimited calling. A few months back, Airtel bundled data with the smart recharge packs. Now, it only offers a Talktime of 128, 38.52 rs when you recharge your number with Rs 79 or Rs 49.
Note: Each unlimited data plan of Airtel ships with 100 SMS and unlimited calls offer.
Airtel new offers
Each of the plans we’ve shared above gives users access to 30 days free trial of the Amazon Prime Video mobile edition and full access to Airtel Xstream Premium, Free Hellotunes, Wynk Music service. If you recharge your prepaid number with the 598, 399, 289, 279,249, 698, 599, 449, 349, 298, 558, 448, or 398 pack via the Airtel Thanks app, you’ll get 4GB, 2GB, or 6GB extra data.
Which airtel plan is the best?
The answer to this question depends on the type of user you’re. If you watch OTT content, YouTube videos moderately, then the 1.5GB/day data plan is ideal for you. If you watch videos a lot, you should recharge your prepaid number with the 3GB or 2GB/data pack else you might end up wasting money on one of these 8 data packs launched by Airtel:
|401||30GB||Disney + Hotstar VIP subscription||28|
|251||50GB||N/A||Same as current pack|
|248||25GB||Wynk music premium||Existing packs validity|
|131||100MB||Amazon Prime video mobile, Xstream, etc||Existing packs validity|
|98||12GB||N/A||Same as above|
|89||6GB||N/A||Current pack’s validity|
|78||5GB||N/A||Existing pack’s validity|
Is Airtel a good mobile data service provider
I have been a user of JIO, Vi, and Airtel prepaid SIM cards. JIO download speed was good when the company was a year old. As it kept adding more subscribers, the download/upload speed of JIO dropped drastically. Vi improved its infrastructure even after losing its subscribers to JIO and Airtel. Thus, the download/upload speed users of Vi enjoy is good. The speed is not always the same. Airtel is the only company that has never disappointed me as a customer. The download/upload speed is great/satisfactory no matter what time you use its mobile data service.
Although it was in the news that Airtel may hike the prepaid tariff, the company hasn’t modified its plans since January 2021. Once the pandemic ends, the company may hike its tariff.
As you can see above, Airtel has introduced 20+ 4G data packs for its 400+ million subscribers. The packs are slightly expensive compare to JIO but the quality of calls/mobile data connection is the reason why you would want to be an Airtel subscriber/user.