Vodafone Red plans are shifting focus to data usage

The refreshed tariff packages, and the new packs, are trying to appeal to almost every user demographic out there. Our guide to making the perfect selection


Vodafone has tweaked the postpaid plans under the ‘RED’ category, to make them even more enticing for users. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint
Vodafone has tweaked the postpaid plans under the ‘RED’ category, to make them even more enticing for users. Photo: Priyanka Parashar/Mint

At present, almost all developments in the telecom sector are being seen through the prism of the imminent launch of the Reliance Jio services. And the expectation that Jio’s services will shake up the market with unbelievably low tariffs, particularly for high-speed mobile data services, is forcing rivals to take pre-emptive corrective action. Vodafone has tweaked the postpaid plans under the ‘RED’ category, to make them even more enticing for users.

What Vodafone has done is tweaked the RED 499, RED 699 and RED 1,299 plans, done away with the RED 899 and instead launched RED 999, RED 1,699 and RED 1,999 plans. We take a look at what each of these offers, and which is relevant for what sort of usage.

The RED 499 remains the entry-level plan, and just as with all other RED plans, it bundles voice as well as data usage. What you will now get is 1GB of 3G/4G usage, as well as 700 voice call minutes and 500 SMS.

Earlier, the same plan offered 512MB of 3G/4G data usage, 1,000 voice calls and 500 free SMS. With the upgrade to 1GB bundled data usage, this tariff plan makes sense for someone who is currently clubbing a voice tariff plan (such as Supersaver 249 or the Talk More 300 Min) along with 1GB 3G/4G data pack (Rs.299 per month). Not only does this mean a savings in terms of the outright rental, but you may also get more bundled voice calls compared to your current voice plan.

The RED 699 plan now offers 2GB 3G/4G data, along with 1,000 minutes of voice calls and 500 SMS.

Earlier, the same plan would offer 1GB 3G/4G data, 1500 voice call minutes and 500 SMS. Compared to the RED 499 plan, you are paying Rs.200 more per month for additional 1GB data—and this makes perfect sense if you consume more data for web browsing and video calls.

Vodafone has done away with the RED 899 plan, which included 2GB internet, 2000 voice calls and 1,000 SMS. Instead, this has been replaced with the RED 999 plan—3GB 3G/4G usage, 2,000 voice call minutes and 500 SMS. Unless you feel that the bundled voice calls are something you will be able to utilize to the fullest, we would recommend the RED 699 instead of the RED 899 plan.

Simply because even if you need that extra 1GB 3G/4G data, the add-on pack called RED 1GB Monthly Pack costs only Rs.250 more per month (instead of the Rs.300 price difference between the two plans).

With the RED 1,299 plan, it is now getting into the territory of tariff plans that will appeal to power users. What a customer gets now is 4GB of 3G/4G data, 3000 voice call minutes, 500 SMS, incoming calls are free on national roaming and outgoing calls on national roaming at Rs.0.50 per minute. Earlier, the same plan included 3GB data usage, 4,000 voice calls and 1,500 SMS. The RED 1,299 plan makes sense for anyone who travels within the country quite often, because the savings on the roaming voice call usage will make up for the comparatively higher rental compared to the sub-Rs.1,000 RED plans.

RED 1699 is one of the new plans for power users—6GB data usage, unlimited local and national calls, 500 SMS and free incoming calls on national roaming with outgoing calls at Rs.0.50 per minute when a user is travelling anywhere within India. The RED 1,999 is the top-of-the-line tariff package at present, and includes 8GB of 3G/4G data usage, unlimited local and national calls, 500 SMS, and unlimited incoming and outgoing calls on national roaming.

Between these two plans, professionals who will be travelling a lot would be better served with the RED 1,999 plan, because there will be no billed usage for calls made and received while travelling anywhere in India. If a user travels a lot every month, that Rs.300 price difference in the rental will probably not be as much as the bill that may get clocked up with that one long conference call with the office while travelling to another city.

Vodafone is now offering these tariff plans for all postpaid users in India. However, we noticed that the updated RED plans are not yet available in the writer’s MyVodafone account, which is still recommending the older RED plans—the rollout may be happening in a phased manner, and may take a couple of days before it is available as an option. In case you need to shift, we suggest you look closely to ensure you are getting the newer tariff packages only.

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