Since I knew that there are Rs.98 Internet browsing plans in both Airtel and Aircel, I went on to check if there is something similar with Vodafone. Unfortunately I couldn’t find one. What’s even sad is that Vodafone users will have to pay for browsing the Vodafone Live portal and for which, data plans exists, sigh (See Update below).
There is a great variation in the tariff of Vodafone Live portal browsing from circle to circle too. For example, in the Hyderabad circle where I stay, Vodafone has a Rs.98 per month plan for prepaid users with which I get 2GB of data free (note that this can only be used for browsing the Vodafone Live portal).
In other circles, say in Mumbai, the highest plan for prepaid users is Rs.99 per month which gives Unlimited usage of Vodafone Live portal (satisfying 60Mb per day fair usage limit).
In Chennai, I’m only left with Rs.95 per month plan where I get 50MB of free data.
Delhi and NCR: No plans for prepaid (at least, I don’t see any) but there is on Rs.200 and Rs.500 monthly rental plan for post paid users which gives 100MB and 500MB of free data respectively.
Tariffs are extremely hefty for post paid users in other circles too. In Hyderabad (AP circle), for Rs.699 plan, I get a mere 1GB of data and that too at the dreadful GPRS speeds.
We saw Vodafone 3G USB sticks earlier that are being advertised lately but only give 2G speeds, for now.
I think it’s vitally important and high time for Vodafone to introduce plans such as Airtel’s Prepaid Internet plan of Rs.98 per month, just to get their users ready for the 3G generation.
What Airtel has done by bringing back the Rs.98 plan this year is build a solid ‘data services’ user base before launching the 3G services so that they don’t have to face the dire circumstances that BSNL is facing now.
Update June 2013: Vodafone has prepaid and post paid mobile data packs too. Most packs are priced very similar to airtel. A 1 GB 2G data pack comes for around Rs.125 a month. But what had changed is the rapid decrease in ‘Pay as you go’ tariff. Instead of charging 10p/10KB, Vodafone now just charges 2ps/10KB. For those on data packs, this pay as you go tariff will be applicable after they complete their allotted data till they renew their data pack (which you can chose to discontinue, of course).