Vodafone RedX and Airtel 999: Are these premium mobile plans for you?

Consumers worldwide evaluate products and services on perceived value against asking price. Mumbai-based D Anisha, employed at a private company, is currently comparing the two Rs 999 post-paid plans from Vodafone and Airtel. Says Anisha: “Both plans cost the same and  have several benefits, like Netflix and Amazon Prime, so I am a little confused.” If you, too, are wondering which plan will work better for you, read on.

Vodafone RedX post-paid plan

Arpit Sharma of TelecomTalk says it is an industry-first product that is rich in entertainment and travel-related benefits. You get unlimited voice calls and 100 SMS messages per day, and unlimited data, though the speed limit is reduced to 1 Mbps once you have used up 150 GB. You can make ISD calls to US and Canada at 50 paise per minute. You also get Netflix credit worth Rs 5,998 for a year, Amazon Prime, Zee5 Premium membership for a year, and free access to Vodafone Play mobile app. The plan also offers free international roaming pack worth Rs 2,999 for one week that can be used once a year. A Vodafone Idea company spokesperson says: “Vodafone RedX is a limited-edition post-paid plan that offers world-class entertainment, bundled international roaming services, truly unlimited data with superior data speeds, premium customer service, access to airport lounges, and so on.”  Experts are, however, sceptical about Vodafone’s claims of offering faster data speed. Says Sharma: “They claim they will use special technology to deliver 50 per cent higher data speed, but nobody knows what this technology is. In broadband, a wired connection, you can ensure this because you have stability. But in a 4G connection, data speed depends on a number of factors like user’s location, tower situation, whether you are in a basement, etc.”

Airtel Rs 999 post-paid plan

It offers 150 GB per month with data rollover facility. You get unlimited calls — local, STD and roaming. You also get three months’ Netflix subscription worth Rs 1,497, one-year free Amazon Prime, Zee 5, Airtel Xtream app 300 plus live TV channels, movies, and shows in several languages. You get handset protection. Customers can add four family members for free — three regular and one as data add-on. Says Sharma: “It means that the calling benefit is unlimited for all the add-on connections. The data add-on means whatever data you get is shared between you and that one add-on connection.”

Source: Company websites

Who should go for which

Vodafone RedX and Airtel 999 are very different plans. “If you are a single, premium user, who travels frequently, and has high entertainment needs, Vodafone RedX offers you value for money. But if you are a value-conscious subscriber and want to share your connection with family and friends, Airtel’s plan makes more sense, especially if your family members include grandparents, who only use the call facility.”  In case you want to change to another plan, migrate to prepaid, or port out of Vodafone within six months of activating RedX post-paid plan, you will have to pay a fee of Rs 3,000. This is a key disadvantage of this plan.  For those not willing to spend Rs 12,000 a year, several lower-cost unlimited plans, post and prepaid, are available. Says Sanju Jain, a Mumbai-based mobile shop owner: “There are a number of good prepaid plans. There are 365-day plans that cost just Rs 2,500 a year, have data speed and unlimited calls that are pretty much at par with the Rs 999 plans. They come at Rs 2,500 a year. A Rs 999 plan will cost you Rs 12,000 a year. If you are a businessman, or your employer pays your mobile bill, then go for the Rs 999 plan, or else go for the Rs 2,500 prepaid plan and use the money you save to buy entertainment separately.”

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