Telecommunications, with over 1 billion subscribers, is the most successful industry in India. Four major service providers are available in the country, competing to capture a larger portion of the market. And for that, they are trying to provide the best services at the most competitive prices. That’s why it’s somewhat difficult for new subscribers in India to pick the SIM cards best suited for them.
However, there is one more thing to keep in mind. It’s wise to check which telecommunications provider has the best network coverage within an area a customer resides in. There is no point in subscribing to a carrier that has weak or limited connectivity in a particular location, no matter how good its plans may be. In this article, you will get the information related to all 4 main players in the Indian telecom market. That way, you can decide which one is the best for you.
1. Reliance Jio
Reliance Jio, launched in 2016, brought a huge revolution to the Indian telecom market with its dirt-cheap tariff plans. As a result, other major players in the market cut down costs of their payment plans. That allowed them to survive the degree of competition Jio was setting. Jio offered a powerful broadband network, amazing apps, and a variety of services to its subscribers with the aim of covering 90% of India’s population. The carrier has the largest market share in India and fulfilled its goal. It remains one of the networks with the highest penetration rate (alongside BSNL) in the country, ensuring optimal performance even in remote villages.
Jio doesn’t support 2G and 3G networks, as it was launched on the 4G network. With recharge plans ranging from Rs. 10 to Rs. 5,715, a Jio connection has so much to offer to its consumers. The most popular and the best plan in Reliance Jio is Rs. 399, in which you get 2 GB of data per day. You also get unlimited Jio to Jio calls, 2000 voice call minutes to other networks, 100 SMSes per day, and the SIM card plan remains valid for 56 days. One of the best 1-month Jio plans is for Rs.129 which has validity for 28 days providing you 2 GB 4G data per day, 1000 mins of free Jio calls to other networks, and unlimited Jio-to-Jio calling service.
With the second-largest market share among SIM cards providers in India, Airtel is mainly chosen for its impressive internet speed. The company offers superb network coverage in rural and urban areas alike, too, and throughout the country. It comes equipped with the highest speed of data connectivity we tried. The company also provides a wide range of facilities too like Airtel Money, a free Wink Music subscription, a one-month free Prime Video subscription, and more. Additionally, the carrier operates in over 20 countries across Asia and Africa.
Airtel offers prepaid plans from Rs. 48 to Rs. 2,000 and above. The Airtel plan most people prefer costs Rs. 399 and awards you a 56-day validity for 4G Data: 1.5 GB per day, talk time: unlimited, and SMS: 100/day. Another popular recharge plan is Rs. 598, which comes with the same features and benefits as the Rs. 399 plan but with a validity of 84 days. We should also mention that Airtel’s one-month plans range from Rs. 45 to Rs. 448.
Vodafone India acquired Idea Cellular and became Vodafone Idea, commonly referred to as Vi. Since its merger, Vi has expanded its expertise and network coverage within the country and currently boasts the third-largest customer base. The company offers stable network connectivity, high-speed internet, and a huge data bundle, among other benefits. The best part with Vi is that it offers weekend data rollover to its subscribers, which no other carrier in India does. This feature makes Vi a very lucrative option for big data consumers in the country like teachers, students, employees working from home, or gamers.
One of the best plans Vi offers is priced at Rs. 399, provides you with 1.5 GB 4G data per day, unlimited calls, 100 SMS/day, and remains valid for 56 days. You can enjoy unlimited night data from 12 AM to 6 AM throughout the week as well. Moreover, you can transfer Monday to Friday’s unused data into Saturday to Sunday free of cost. Additionally, you get the same benefits using Rs. 449 plan. However, you’ll receive 4 GB 4G data per day instead of 1.5 GB 4G data daily. Finally, both plans let you use “Vi Movies & TV Classic” access to enjoy unlimited movies, originals, live TV, news, and more.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited, known as BSNL far and wide, is the oldest SIM cards provider in India. It has 2G and 3G network coverage in every corner of the country, making it its widest-covering network alongside Jio. It might not compete with others in terms of data speed within the country but remains a reliable carrier in the not-so-developed parts. Furthermore, it has the cheapest recharge plans with the longest validity period among its competitors. The company offers plans ranging from Rs. 10 to Rs. 6,000.
Now, for the specifics. BSNL offers a Rs. 397 plan that awards you a validity of 300 days with unlimited voice calls and 2 GB of data daily, although the speed is restricted to 40 Kbps after 2 GB/day. Users also get to utilize 100 SMS daily at no additional costs for 60 days. Finally, you get special features – PRBT (Personalized Ring Back Tone) and access to LOKDHUN content. The Rs. 1,498 plan is identical, except its validity rises to 365 days.