back to blog

On September 1st an Earthquake with epicentre in Mumbai in the state of Maharashtra hit the Telecom world. After many years and tens of thousands of crores of investment Reliance Jio launched in India. As the tariffs were unveiled during the Reliance AGM you could hear the collective amazement across the length and breadth of India and a sense of dread across the offices of the big telecom providers. The tariffs are like nothing we have ever seen or for that matter the world has ever seen, Or are they? We at Komparify decided to find out.

Telecom plans are complex things. There are 1000’s of conditions and 1000’s of rates. There are literally thousands of plans offered by each operator. Also each operator has a different way of creating a plan. Thankfully Komparify search and recommendation engine, can cut through all the complexity and tell you which plan combination costs how much for a given usage. We update our plans every day and are proud of data collection and transformation framework which makes such analysis possible

For this analysis we looked at prepaid packs (considering 90% + of the market is prepaid), we only consider plans which are close to monthly usage, filtering out long duration packs (which are not very popular) and short duration packs which are meant for sampling or for emergency situations. Also because plans vary with different validities. We normalize to find out the monthly cost.

We ran two sets of searches, one purely for data and the other for data + voice calls + sms. We have used Karnataka telecom circle which includes the IT capital of Bengaluru on this blog post. Other metro circles we considered follows similar pattern, we shall expand on them on a blog post later. To find out the minutes of usage and SMS we used TRAI averages which were also used on our previous analysis – this works out to 159 minutes of calling and 57 sms. We did not consider data in Wifi Hotspots, Night Data (it is only valid between 2AM and 5AM on Jio) and apps. For apps we may consider it in a later analysis. We will also look at heavier users – say those who spend 1 hour on the phone every day talking.

Here are the results


Data Only

For our analysis data usage alone is measured at 100MB, 500MB, 1GB, 4GB, 10Gb, 20GB. And we find the best plan from each operator and plot it. (Lower cost is better)


In what is a completely surprising turn of events, Reliance Jio plans can be expensive for users who sip small amounts of data. Wait, What? This is not surprising. Most operators have low volume monthly data plans starting at Rs. 45 so they have a plan for every type of consumer big or small. Jio plans start at Rs. 149. And even that offers on 0.3GB of data. Thus Reliance Jio becomes cheaper when users start using 4GB or above. But even when you scale that all the way to 10GB, the prices are comparable across top operators. For 20GB, we present the graph below.



As you can see if you do use a lot of data, Jio maybe a great deal for you. Also not included in this analysis is BSNL (they have a truly unlimited data plan) because they have 3G network only at the moment.



Maybe the previous analysis does not make sense because one of the key announcements was the voice and SMS are completely free. So we decided to add Voice and SMS to the search. The voice and SMS we added are 57 SMS per month and 159 minutes of calling. This was the TRAI average that we also used in an earlier article.


As you can see the rates of Reliance Jio become a lot more competitive when you add voice and SMS. The surprising thing is that Reliance Jio is not the cheapest plan for 100MB and 500MB. That honor goes to Airtel. At 1GB, Reliance Jio becomes the cheapest and for 4GB, it is the cheapest by atleast 40%. At 10GB, plans become close again and at 20B, we see that Jio has no competition.




The first surprising result is that Jio tariffs are not that cheap for typical Indian usages. It looks like Jio is targeted towards heavy users or changing how India uses its mobile phones. Having a lot of spectrum and backbone capacity, they are moving the premium segment of the market i.e. 10Gb and 20GB data users to much lower rates. The incumbent telecom operators are surprisingly competitive for users who use data < 10GB. In the coming days we expect a flurry of announcements along tariff. Komparify will be there to cover the movements.

After having spoken to users who do use heavier calls and data we have realized that one of the key benefits of Jio is to allow users to use their phone freely, see more youtube videos, make more calls, use whatsapp more and generally use the internet more. This will be the lasting impact of Jio and its big steps towards Digital India.

The other open question will be how will the Jio network cope up with heavy volumes of data use. This we will know as people line up for sims and vent on platforms like facebook and twitter.

Do let us know if there is any mistake in our analysis. Also share this result and spread the love.

Source Data (Data Only):

Data Only Reliance Jio Airtel Vodafone Idea
100MB 159.64 109.28 274.09 103
500MB 427.14 283.93 274.09 187.5
1GB 427.14 283.93 283.93 265.71
4GB 534.64 701.78 695.36 801.43
10GB 1070.36 1066.87 1070.36 1062.86
20GB 1606.07 3583.93 2141.78 38206.86

Source Data (Data + Voice):

Data + Voice Reliance Jio Airtel Vodafone
100MB 427.14 350 472
500MB 427.14 369.63 472.49
1GB 427.14 519.63 482.33
4GB 534.64 922.96 893.76
10GB 1070.36 1287.25 1268.76
20GB 1606.07 3805.1 2340.18