After Reliance Jio, BSNL is offering free data – but there's a catch

Sami Khan
BSNL is expected to launch three new plans to counter Reliance Jio's Dhan Dhana Dhan.

Reliance Jio started an intense price war in India with its back-to-back free promotions, forcing other telcos to keep up or simply lose users. But the incumbents seem to have no intention to go down without a fight, which is why we have been seeing some attractive offers on data, voice calls and roaming like never before.

Airtel has really put up a tough fight to Jio in terms of pricing its new tariffs, but other telcos are not shy at all. BSNL, the state-run telecom company, has reportedly accepted the challenge and responded with a fierce move. Let's just say, BSNL is taking a page from Jio's book.

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According to a PTI report, BSNL is offering 1GB free data to all of its prepaid users across India with an aim to push digital India drive. But there's a catch. The offer is only applicable to those users who have not been using BSNL's GSM data services on their smartphones. This will certainly boost the number of internet users on its network.

"On pan India basis BSNL offers 1 GB free data for the smartphone users who are not using BSNL GSM data services. The intention of this offer is to promote number of Internet users in BSNL network," BSNL was quoted as saying.

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In comparison to Jio's Happy New Year offer, BSNL's offering may not be up to the mark. But it is certainly going to be a great add-on for users who haven't tried using internet on their smartphones, especially in the rural areas where BSNL has a stronger presence.

It is unclear whether BSNL would be giving its 1GB free data with certain validity. Our guess is that users will have up to 28 days to enjoy the free 3G data by BSNL, and choose one of the data packs to continue the services.

BSNL made the headlines a few days ago with a major announcement that surprised telcos and users alike. The company launched a special offer where users would get unlimited data with 2GB FUP limit per day, unlimited calls within its network for 28 days by paying just Rs. 339. This offer beats Jio on a certain level. Jio's starting tariff for Rs. 303 offers 1GB 4G data per day for 28 days along with free calls and access to MyJio apps. There's no real winner here. Users can take advantage of both carriers' offers and it will still be worth it.

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