Vodafone India, the local arm of the UK telecom operator, on Wednesday began offering double 4G data usage under existing schemes priced above Rs255, which in effect slashes prices by 50 per cent, to take on Mukesh Ambani-run Reliance Jio.
The move comes in response to new entrant Jio extending its free services offer by three months to 31 March. Clearly, Vodafone does not want to lose market share to Jio.
All Vodafone 4G pre-paid customers can now avail 'Double Data' benefits on existing market packs and will enable Vodafone customers to enjoy an enhanced mobile internet experience, the company said. This offer is applicable on all 4G market packs starting from Rs255, Vodafone said in a statement.
Under this offer Vodafone customers will get 2 GB of 4G data usage for Rs255 instead of 1GB offered earlier. Similarly, the Rs459 plan will offer 6 GB of 4G data, Rs559 plan 8GB, Rs999 plan 20GB and Rs1999 plan 40 GB. All plans will be valid for 28 days.
"We are confident that this value offering will further enhance mobile internet experience for our customers and will enable them to experience the world of Vodafone SuperNet4G to the fullest,'' said Apoorva Mehrotra, business head, Delhi NCR.
Reliance Jio is offering free 4G data benefit for its customers till March 31,2017. Earlier, the scheme was to end on 31 December 2016 for customers who bought Jio sim cards by 3 December.
Jio's offer of cheap data and free voice services has forced rivals including Vodafone to cut prices earlier as well. Vodafone Group Plc had last month written down the value of its Indian business by £5 billion (around Rs36,460 crore), citing increased competition in the country's telecom market, causing its global first-half loss to double.
The UK-based telco's net loss surged to £5.1 billion in the six months to 30 September, compared with a net loss of £2.5 billion a year earlier.