Airtel has announced the introduction of two new tariff plans that are priced in the 'mass' category. While we have seen incumbents respond to Jio's offers since the latter's launch in Sep, they have so far required large ticket top-ups (Rs1000+). This is for the first time that tariff plans that are within reach of the average customer are being introduced.
The Rs145 plan gives 300MB data and free calls to other Airtel numbers (on-net). The Rs345 plan gives 1GB data and free calls to any network. The 28 days validity on both plans is pretty much the industry norm these days. These data allowances are for customers with 4G phones. Other customers get 50MB data, with all other benefits. The comparisons with Jio's plans are given below.
We see these tariff moves as significant events, and in-line with our expectation of pressure on profitability for telcos. Unlike the responses seen so far, today's plans should find a large addressible market (Bharti's ARPU ~Rs200, industry ARPU ~Rs150+). To give a sense of the ARPU dilution implied, 300MB/1GB data only plans were going at ~Rs120/Rs250 till recently, with voice charges extra (blended voice ARPU Rs130; we can expect data subscribers, especially ones consuming 1GB data to talk more than average).