This article will help you understand various prepaid calling plans in India for mobile connections. You will also learn about various data and 3G plans.
To shorten your reading time here are the current Vodafone Bill Plans (as on 8-Apr-2013 applicable if you buy a connection from Delhi):
For 1GB Data on 3G speed you need to charge your phone with INR249.
To make all local and national calls cheap (1p per second) you need to charge with INR5 (3 months validity).
To make all calls cheap while roaming in India (outside of the state you bought the SIM) you need to charge with INR13 (valid for 1 month). They might change when you buy the connection so please plan accordingly. Now continue to read the article below for more details and explanation.
Just like any other part of the world, prepaid calling plans in India can be very confusing to understand. There are base plans which come pre-loaded with the new prepaid mobile connections, then there are plans that make your local calls cheaper along with the plans that make your outstations calls cheaper etc. This is further broken down into per second pulse OR per minute pulse.
Per second pulse means that you will be charged for the actual call duration. Per minute pulse means that if you talk to for 10 seconds OR 60 seconds you will still be charged for 1 minute. If you make a Call of 1 minute and 1 second will be charged for 2 minutes. Various prepaid calling plans in India can be understood from below sections.
Prepaid Calling plans in India:
(varies from operator to operator)
Local Calling Packs: This would normally imply that you buy a pack that will make your outgoing local calls cheap. For example, 1 paisa per second OR 50 paisa per minute. Normally the charge is 1Rupee per minute. So with the local pack, your local calls get cheaper.
Outstation Calling Pack: This is similar to the local calling pack. It will make your outstation calls cheaper just like the local calling pack.
Roaming Pack: This is not easy to understand by people from Europe and other parts of the world. In India there are many states. All states issue a separate license to mobile operators. The cost of the license is different for each state. This means that there is a different calling rate for each state. The moment you step out of the state from where you bought the connection, you are technically on roaming services. The cost of roaming is higher. Even the incoming calls that are free in the state that you connection belongs to, start getting charged. In order to avoid the extra cost of receiving and making calls while on roaming, you need to buy a roaming pack.
Data Packs: There are two kinds. 2G data packs and 3G data packs. Depending upon the speed and the data usage you can choose the appropriate plan. For example 2GB data transfer on 2G speed costs around INR150 whereas 2GB data transfer on 3G speed will be around INR450. For IPhone users buy only 3G data plan as the other ones will not work.
Note: All packs have a fixed validity. Mostly for prepaid calling plans in India it is 90 days and for Data/Internet packs it is 30 days.
Calling Value topups: Now that you have understood how the prepaid calling plans in India work, it is time to Top Up your phone with money. All recharges and top ups are subject to government taxes. To give you an example INR100 charge will get you talk time worth INR84. The rest is all taxes and other levies by the mobile operators. There are full talk time topups also available. In this you get full money in your phone. For Vodafone if you topup with INR351 you get full INR351 credited to your account. The company in this case absorbs the taxes and levies and gives you full money as incentive.
To top you, you can either goto a mobile shop and from there the person will top up your phone from his mobile or give you top up vouchers from which you an topup your self. You can also topup from the mobile operator’s website using your credit card.
Note: It is important to note that you should always topup from the store if this store is in the same state from where you bought the connection. This is the only way in which you will get the correct top up amount. If you happen to be in any other state, then the safest bet is to buy topup from the mobile company’s website. There is technical reason behind this which cannot be explained here. Just follow this and you will have no surprises. If you dont follow this you may not receive the correct amount as topup eventhough you have paid the correct amount. For example, as per current prepaid calling plans in India, for a connection bought in Delhi, INR100 will give you INR84 where as in other parts you may get only INR10. Just follow what is mentioned in this paragraph in order to avoid any unpleasant surprises while topping up your phone.