Airtel, Vodafone Idea Silently Discontinue Talk Time Top Ups, To Soon Bring Recharge Plans As Mandate

If you happen to get your top-ups done via digital wallets like MobiWik, Paytm, you'd notice that select talk time plans are not available anymore.


The telecom industry trends keep on changing based on the demand amongst the customers. Until recently, the telecom operators aggressively pushed the recharge plans with more data benefits along with other minor incentives. While the data plans are still in demand, the focus has shifted to the long-term plans, aimed at users with high-calling needs. Incidentally, the combo recharge packs that offer data, voice calls, and SMS benefits never go off the edge. Before the 4G data speeds went ubiquitous, talk time top ups were all the rage. While they continued to exist even after the paradigm shift in the telecom market, seems like it’s about to change.

It has come to our attention that popular telcos like Airtel and Vodafone Idea have quietly ditched the talk time top ups. The telecom operators will allegedly bring combo recharge plans as a mandate.

No More Talk Time Top Ups?

If you happen to get your top-ups done via digital wallets like MobiWik, Paytm, you’d notice that select talk time plans are not available anymore. You can browse through the list of combo prepaid recharge plans, long-validity plans, and other STVs, but the talk time top-ups are nowhere to be found. The only logical explanation suggests the telcos have discontinued them. In fact, some of the plans are still there, but they are not accessible. When you tap on them, the pop-up message reads that the plans have been discontinued by the telecom operator and the users should find a different plan from the browse section.

According to sources, Airtel and Vodafone Idea will introduce a mandate that the users will be required to subscribe to special recharge plans to have the talk time validity. These could be the existing prepaid recharge plans worth Rs. 149, Rs. 199, Rs. 349, Rs. 399, and more. If the customers fail to recharge, they will not be able to make outgoing calls and eventually, the incoming calls will be barred as well.

Recent Combo Recharge Plans from Airtel

Airtel recently launched a series of combo prepaid recharge plans starting as low as Rs. 35. The new recharge packs series from Airtel offers five options to its prepaid subscribers. The Rs. 35 prepaid recharge pack offers a talk time of INR 26.5, along with 100MB of data, and bears a validity of 28 days. There are two more plans that offer more talk time, having the same validity period. The pack priced at Rs. 65 with talk time worth Rs. 55 comes with 200MB of data, while the Rs. 95 pack offers full talk time besides the 500MB data. Furthermore, the Rs. 145 prepaid recharge pack provides a talk time of Rs. 145 along with 1GB of data. The plan comes bearing a validity of 42 days. And finally, there is Rs. 245 prepaid recharge pack that offers a full talk time of Rs. 245 along with 2GB of data. The plan has the validity of 84 days.

Vodafone Idea, on the other hand, recently announced they will be focussing on providing superior 4G and VoLTE services by upgrading the infrastructure.

During his keynote Speech at IMC 2018, Vodafone Idea Chairman, Kumar Mangalam Birla said, “A lot needs to be done. We are working on upgrading and consolidating the infrastructure to deliver better services for masses.” 

At the time of launch of the prepaid recharge packs, Amit Tripathi, Chief Executive Officer – Mumbai, Bharti Airtel said in an official statement, “We are constantly listening to our customers and are working towards improving their experience through exciting innovations and process re-engineering.

The upcoming plans from both the telcos suggest they will focus on bringing 4G services in the form of prepaid combos and STVs for their users. And, the conventional talk time top-ups are gone for good.