Jio, Airtel, Vi no longer offers SMS benefits for low-cost billing programs

As is the practice of the whole industry, players including Reliance Jio, Airtel, and Vi (formerly Vodafone Idea) have updated their login systems so that they do not associate themselves with any SMS messaging.

Telecom operators in India no longer claim the benefits of SMS through their low-cost refund programs available for less than Rs. 100.

It will be a big hit for low-paying customers that outgoing SMS messages mean easy access to facilities such as mobile portfolio (MNP), as well as access to SMS services including integrated payment interface (UPI).

In 2017, Jio presented Rs. 98 had an SMS and even received an update that increased its number of SMS messages from 100 messages to 300. But that plan was eventually removed.

By the time Jio returned the program in May 2021, the SMS had been deleted. That was followed by Airtel a few days later and Vi (Vodafone Idea) did the same in June, the Gadget 360 learned.

Telcos, including Jio, Airtel, and Vi, has their option to re-issue low-cost prepaid customers to provide unlimited voice and voice over high-speed data connections.

Jio currently has Rs. 98 as the lowest in the paid filling portfolio. Provides 1.5GB of fast data daily and unlimited voice calls, as well as 14-day operation.

Jio also has Rs. A 39-charge recharge program with high speed data access and unlimited 14-day voice calls. However, it is limited to Jio Phone customers and is not available to regular users.

Jio Phone users also have Rs. 75 prepaid plan that includes 50 SMS messages along with 3GB instant data and unlimited 28-day voice calls.

Unlike Jio, Vi has Rs. 49 prepaid plan as its cheapest option, with 100MB data and Rs. 38 talk time is 28 days. The Vi pack also makes domestic and national calls at 2.5 paise per second.

On the other hand, Airtel recently made Rs. 79 fixes its lowest monthly payments and stops previous Rs. 49 system. Rs. Airtel 79 pre-paid program holds Rs. 64 talk time, 1 paisa per local call and STD rate, 106 minutes of outgoing calls, and 200MB data for 28 days.

Industrial sources have told Gadget 360 that operators have taken steps to discontinue providing SMS benefits through their low-cost per-user (ARPU) plans.

Customers can choose another SMS package or go with a higher price plan if they want to send messages, a development expert said.

Jio had a flat ARPU for Rs. 138.4 in the first quarter of the 2022 financial year. Airtel and Vi in their fourth quarter financial results reported their ARPUs at Rs. 145 noRs. 102, respectively.

The Cellular Association of India (COAI) declined to comment on the review.

Also see: Xiaomi takes second place in Global Smartphone shipping in Q2, Ousting Apple: IDC

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