Let’s look at why you should opt for a postpaid plan or a prepaid plan currently in India. There are pros and cons of both and let me discuss some of the key points which will help you make the right choice.
Telecom business has changed in last one year in India, with the launch of Reliance Jio. Reliance JIO launched the unlimited Voice calling plans and 1 GB / day data, unlimited SMS, no roaming charges.
Had you asked all of these in a postpaid plan in Pre-Jio era – Airtel, Idea or Vodafone would have given you a Rs. 2499 postpaid plan, but not anymore. Thats the change I wanted to highlight.
Fundamental Difference between Postpaid and Prepaid
With postpaid plans you don’t need to pay anything upfront, you get a monthly bill after you use your telecom connection. On the other hand with Prepaid, you can recharge with a fixed amount upfront and only then can consume the benefits. As the name suggests prepaid – you pay first and then use. Postpaid – You use first and then pay.
Let’s Look at Some Key Advantages of Postpaid Plans
Postpaid Plan Advantages in India
1). Postpaid plans have become cheaper, most of the operators are offering unlimited calls and SMS, and 1 GB/day data for Rs. 399. Similar plan offers are there from Airtel, Vodafone, Idea and at slightly different MRPs, depending upon your state. Your maximum bill will be close to Rs.400 a month but beware of roaming and other feature charges which operator can slap on, plus there is also 18% GST tax.
JIO is even cheaper with 309 offering two months rental (for unlimited calls and 1 GB /day data) or a Rs. 399 Rental offering 3 months plan.
2). Postpaid has an advantage you need to pay the bill after you have used the service hence named as postpaid. Also, it is a convenience compared to prepaid where your phone will just stop working as your prepaid pack or balance gets over. With postpaid, you get few days even after your due bill date to pay the bill and you can continue to use your mobile without any issues.
3). Several attractive postpaid plans are there depending on your needs if you are a low user you can opt for a low-value plan, as low as Rs 99 or 199.
4). You get a detailed bill every month with the postpaid plan and can also use that a proof of address at several places.
Disadvantages of Postpaid Connections
1). Bill Shock- Well at one point or the other you will get a bill shock due to many reasons. Suppose, you go on roaming and your plan has high roaming call rates, you may get a higher bill. In case your ISD service is active and by-mistake some calling to ISD destination happens, you can get a very large bill. In case you exceed your data usage limit, you may get a very high bill as operators charge 4P per 10KB or Rs 4000 per GB for data on default data charging.
2). Plan Change – Changing a plan can also lead to a very high bill due to pro-rata charging. I recently downgraded my plan from a 999 to a 499 plan and got a Rs. 2000 extra bill for data used as pro-rata data charging is applied when you change the plan mid-cycle.
3). Lack of Control on Expenses – Postpaid don’t allow you to keep a tight control on the expenses, you get the bill after a month, though can track the bill from operator App and other means but at times you can incur charges which can lead to additional bills.
4). MNP is difficult for Postpaid – My MNP request was rejected 3 times by my operator stating ridiculous reasons. Postpaid customers are high paying and companies don’t want to lose them easily, so they mostly try to prevent a port-out using fair and unfair means. Can read my MNP experience here.
5). In-case of High Bill – No matter how the charging is done or whatever the issue was if you have got a high bill you are at the operators mercy to waive it off or not. You will have to pay the amount to keep using the number.
Prepaid – Why it Better Advantages and Minor Cons
Prepaid comes with several advantages over postpaid in current scenario and has become really cheap after JIO, Airtel, Idea and Vodafone started offering cheap unlimited Voice calling plans and high amount of data plans for Rs. 300 to Rs 350 per month. You can read more about the cheap and best prepaid tariff plans from all operators here.
1). No Bill Shock – In Prepaid you recharge your phone and you get the balance or your calling pack is activated which comes with fixed validity and if you consume it earlier you just need to recharge again. There are no hidden charges, no chance of spending a huge amount of money like postpaid.
2). Ease of changing tariff packs – You don’t get any pro-rata data charging bills when you want to change the pack. You have a lot of choices in prepaid from unlimited voice and data packs, bulk minutes packs, rate cutters and special data recharges.
3). Many Choices – As mentioned in the previous point you can opt for any type of pack and control your spend. The choices and packs availability is much higher compared to postpaid. The flexibility of changing your packs and options are huge in prepaid compared to a limited number of plans offered by your operator.
4). 100% Control on Spending – You can keep your spending as low as you want and you don’t need to pay the fix Rs 549 monthly rental which you took when you needed to use your phone more. In prepaid you pay what you use, but not on the basis of the plan you signed up for.
5). No tension of High Bills or misuse- Your kids made some ISD calls from your postpaid mobile by mistake and you get the enormous bill which you will have to pay or they just watched youtube on Full HD for a couple of hours and your data limit is exhausted in postpaid. Prepaid the only thing that can happen is your account balance becomes zero and nothing else.
Concluding Thoughts – Prepaid Vs Postpaid Plans
While Postpaid was a cheaper option before Reliance JIO with plans having better benefits compared to prepaid. After JIO the scenario has changed and unlimited packs for a month are very cheap.
It makes sense to shift to prepaid if you want to have 100% control on your spend and want to keep the expenses in your control. If your company is paying the bill and you don’t have to bother much postpaid is a very cool option, you don’t need to recharge or do anything. It just works.
For individual users who pay their bills or can recharge, for a majority of people I think prepaid is well suited in India.You can take an unlimited pack and keep a Rs 100 to 200 balance in your phone. You don’t need anything else, just recharge once a month and you are all set.