Emtel’s Data Package Pricing Insanity

by
Inf

Hello readers,

I was recently examining the prices of Emtel’s data packages and found something quite surprising, maybe even funny in a bad way. In short, the prices vary widely and the packages do not make much sense. It’s as if Emtel was a bit cut-off from the reality and how users use data packages. We’ll end this article by comparing what Orange has to offer.

Please bear in mind that I’m not affiliated to Orange Mauritius in any way and I’m just comparing with Orange as Emtel’s main competitor. Also I’m a long-time Emtel user who is saddened by the pricing offered by this company.

Emtel Prepaid Tariffs

Let’s get to it. First, we see the Prepaid Data Packages. Here’s a screenshot taken directly from Emtel’s site as at 20 April 2015:

Emtel Prepaid Data Tariffs

Here’s the same data presented in a tabular format:

Emtel Prepaid Table

Note the following points:

  • The YOLO 15 package is pretty much worthless now:
    • The Daily 50MB package is a better deal if you need only data.
    • You can get 50 MB daily for less than YOLO. 15 mins calls are not that much.
    • Perhaps 15 SMS could justify the price (Rs. 9 @ 0.60 per SMS)
  • The weekly 300MB package will cost you less than the dedicated 1GB monthly package:
    • You get more MBs with the weekly package if you subscribe every week. 1.2 GB (300 x 4). Assuming 1 month = 4 weeks. Prices will vary slightly depending on months.
    • The weekly package costs less for more MBs: Rs. 196 (49 x 4) vs Rs. 249
  • The weekly 500 MB costs less than the 2GB monthly package if you subscribe every week in a month:
    • You pay Rs. 396 for the weekly (99 x 4) vs Rs. 449 for the monthly for the same amount of data.

 

This pricing makes no sense to me. Normally the bigger packages should cost less per MB and give you better value for money. Here, the smaller packages are better. The only problem is the annoyance of having to subscribe multiple times (sometimes daily) to get value for money with the smaller offers.

 

Emtel My Choice Packages

Emtel has recently introduced the My Choice package for users who want a more customized package to their needs. The pricing there makes even less sense. To make matters worse, there’s even an access fee of Rs. 140  if you choose packages costing less than Rs. 500 a month! Here’s the extract from their website:

Emtel My Choice Tariffs

Emtel My Choice Data Tariffs

And the same data in tabular format:

Emtel My Choice Table

Again, let’s analyse:

  • 20 MB Internet. Really??
  • The monthly My Choice 500 MB package (Rs. 249) costs the same price as the prepaid monthly 1GB package (Rs. 249). This means I pay the same price for half the bandwidth in My Choice.
  • The monthly My Choice packages cost more than the equivalent monthly prepaid packages:
    • Rs. 100 difference: My Choice 1GB (Rs. 349) vs Prepaid 1GB (Rs. 249)
    • Rs. 200 difference: My Choice 2GB, 3GB (Rs. 649, Rs. 849) vs Prepaid 2GB, 3GB (Rs. 449, Rs. 649)
    • Rs. 300 difference: My Choice 5GB (Rs. 1249) vs Prepaid 5GB (Rs. 949)
    • Rs. 500 difference: My Choice 10GB (Rs. 1999) vs Prepaid 10GB (Rs. 1499)

I can understand that maybe Emtel has recently reviewed its prices for Prepaid and has not done the same exercise for MyChoice but this shows amateurism in my opinion. When you review pricing, you do it across your whole product range.

 

Emtel Postpaid Packages

Funnily enough, Emtel does not seem to have good postpaid packages that include Calls+SMS+Data like other operators, mainly abroad but including Orange Mauritius do. Anyway, let’s see the Postpaid prices. These are just horrible.

From their website:

Emtel Postpaid Tariffs

And in tabular format:

Emtel Postpaid table

 

Emtel has 2 postpaid pricing plans: Liberty and Smart. Interesting choice of names. Let’s assume I use 1GB of data in a month and assume 1 GB is 1000MB. As per the Postpaid pricing, 1GB per month will be costing me Rs. 3070 as per Liberty plan and Rs. 5000 for the Smart plan. Remember, that’s just 1 GB… And VAT excluded by the way!

This same 1 GB will be costing you Rs. 249 in Prepaid and Rs. 349 in MyChoice. I thought Postpaid usually had the better tariffs! Not here!

 

Orange Prepaid Tariffs

Now just to compare, let’s see what Orange has to offer  in terms of Prepaid and Postpaid plans.

The comparison is a bit unfair for Orange because their data packages also include SMS in the price. So Orange has an advantage over the prices here. Nevertheless, let’s just assume the price does not include SMS at all. I could have deducted the cost of SMS from the data packages but I preferred to leave it as is.

Prepaid packages from the Orange website:

Orange Prepaid Data Tariffs

Tabular format:

Orange Prepaid Table

Orange’s prices are more sensible. The cheaper packages do not give significant advantages like Emtel does. The 200MB weekly package does not give you more MBs per month than a dedicated monthly packages. I agree that this is a disadvantage but you need to remember that you get a number of free SMSs in these packages too.

 

Here are the Postpaid plans:

Orange Postpaid Tariffs

Unfortunately I couldn’t find the price per MB for postpaid plans on Orange to calculate the tabular format. You’ll have to make do with their webpage only.

As comparison, Emtel’s monthly 1GB prepaid package costs you Rs. 249 and you get only data. Your calls and SMS are charged separately. With the Rs. 299 Orange Postpaid package, you get less bandwidth, but you also get 300 SMS (Rs. 180 @ Rs. 0.60 per sms) and 120 mins calls to Orange / MT lines.

The equivalent Emtel Postpaid package is the MyChoice B plan where you get 180 Emtel minutes, 200 SMS and 1GB data but Rs. 749, more than twice the price. The cheapest MyChoice package (A) will only give you 20 MB Internet which is pretty much useless over a month.

Here too, you can see definite advantages such as calls and SMS being included in the packages. You even get unlimited Facebook (with conditions) and Deezer which is a music service – although this will still count against your data allowance. For me, this seems like a better offer.

You just need to remember that these are Postpaid offers, valid for a contract of 24 months. If you terminate your contract before, you may be charged a penalty fee.

 

Ending Words

So what’s the point of this article? To tell Emtel to review their pricing and start being competitive again. Don’t get me wrong, I really like Emtel. I get great network coverage with them. I’ve been a customer for more than 15 years with them and I like their service. It’s just that nowadays, people are using their phones differently and my operator is unable to cater for my requirements. Orange meanwhile, is doing things right and aligning with international operators.

I’m not a heavy user. I do call quite a bit, don’t send that many texts and don’t use so much data. I mainly check emails on the go with some browsing, WhatsApp and YouTube. For me, 500MB per month would be  sufficient. I was really looking forward to the MyChoice packages but they are a major letdown. Seriously, Rs. 519 for 20MB Internet a month? You must be joking.

I don’t want to have to change operators. I can’t move my number between operators yet but if this was possible, you’d be losing a customer fast. This is something that neither you nor me wants. So please Emtel, review your stuff.

What are your views on the pricing plans of our mobile operators?

Ps. If I’ve messed up in the calculations somewhere, please let me know! Thanks!

  • Mitchem

    i like this articles.it’s funny that u say 500mb is enough for u…it’s not arrogant from me ,today u go on a facebk page around 80mb has been consume plus all the updates for ur pc and if u have a 1.5gb postpaid like me ,u have less than 500 free browsing remaining.horrible.my postpaid 1.5gb cost me almost 700Rs monthly.very funny i am waiting desperately bharat telecom to switch…thank again for this evidence article