To provide some relief to its customers amid the COVID-19 pandemic, Vodafone Idea Ltd (VIL) has announced recharge and talk time offers for its low-income subscribers numbering 60 million. This comes after its rivals Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio recently unveiled similar offers.
"As a special relief offer, Vi will provide Rs. 49 pack Free to over 60 million low-income customers due to the current situation. The pack offers talktime of Rs. 38 and 100 MB data with a validity of 28 days," said the telco.
The company said in a statement that VIL will be extending benefits worth up to Rs 294 crore to the low-income group users in the country. The telco has also launched a Combo Voucher RC79, which comes with a double talktime of Rs 128 (64+64) and 200 MB of data for a validity of 28 days.
Earlier this week, Airtel said it would offer a recharge pack of Rs 49 for free to about 55 million low-income users on its network, as a one-time gesture, to help them stay connected during the pandemic. Further, prepaid customers buying the Rs 79 recharge coupon would get double the benefit, the telco announced.
Airtel said in a statement that these benefits, worth Rs 270 crore, would â€œhelp 55 million low-income customers to tide over the impact of Covid-19."
This comes after Reliance Jio rolled out special initiatives including free 300 minutes of outgoing calls per month for the entire duration of the pandemic, to JioPhone users who have not been able to recharge due to the ongoing pandemic. "We at Jio want to ensure that staying connected remains accessible and affordable for all customers, especially the less-privileged sections of our society," said a company statement.
The company also said that for every JioPhone plan recharged by a JioPhone user, they will get an additional recharge plan of the same value for free. Elaborating on the offering, the statement said that a JioPhone user recharging with Rs 75 plan, will get an additional Rs 75 plan absolutely free.
"Reliance is committed to standing with every Indian during these challenging times, and will continue to make every effort to enable our fellow citizens to overcome the difficulties created by the pandemic," it added.
Amid the first wave of the pandemic last year, the telecom industry had reportedly lost 8.2 million subscribers during the complete lockdown in April 2020. This was preceded by a loss of 2.8 million subscribers in March when the lockdown was imposed towards the end of the month. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea witnessed the biggest slump in subscriber base, as per the report.