Airtel Black was launched at a virtual conference on Friday as a new programme by the New Delhi-based telecom operator to let its subscribers combine postpaid, direct-to-home (DTH), and fibre services under one single bill. The telco will allow users to bundle two or more of its services together to avail features such as one customer care number and priority service resolution through a dedicated relationship team. Customers will also have the ability to either create their own Airtel Black plan by choosing any two or more of the services they have from the operator or pick a pre-structured Airtel Black fixed plan that starts from Rs. 998.
Available starting July 2, Airtel Black offers one DTH connection and two postpaid mobile connections at Rs. 998 a month or three mobile connections and one DTH connection at Rs. 1,349. Customers can also get one fibre connection and two postpaid mobile connections at Rs. 1,598 a month or pick the top-end plan that offers three mobile connections, one fibre, and DTH connection at a monthly charge of Rs. 2,099.
In case you don’t want to go with the fixed plans, Airtel also allows you to create your own Airtel Black plan by bundling any of its two or more services that you have. However, the programme doesn’t apply to Airtel prepaid connections.
Customers going for the Airtel Black programme are entitled to receive a single billing that will be convenient as there will no longer be multiple bill payment dates. The telco has also promised to provide a priority service that will connect you to a customer care representative within 60 seconds of calling. Further, Airtel Black users are claimed to have no TV service disconnection, priority resolution of complaints, and free service visits.
Airtel will also provide the Xstream Box set-top box to Airtel Black customers at a refundable amount of Rs. 1,500.
Customers can get an Airtel Black fixed plan or bundle any two or more of their Airtel services under the new programme by giving a missed call on 8826655555. Airtel will also allow the changes directly through the Airtel Thanks app. Further, customers can visit their nearby Airtel store to get on the Airtel Black programme.
Some references about Airtel Black appeared earlier this week. Its microsite also surfaced with the details about the distinct plans.
The overall experience that Airtel is offering through Airtel Black is quite similar to what users were earlier getting through the One Airtel service that debuted as a revamped version of Airtel Home. There are, though, changes on the part of rentals as they now cost more to customers.
However, Airtel said during its conference that One Airtel was available as a beta and was not comparable with Airtel Black. It also stated that existing Airtel One customers would be migrated to Airtel Black.
“So our beta now stops as of today, we are lighting up our actual launch,” Shashwat Sharma, Director – Marketing and Communications, Bharti Airtel, told reporters. “And therefore, all the customers will be migrated to Airtel Black. But because of custom plans, customers’ tariffs may get changed.”
Airtel is aiming to enhance its average revenue per user (ARPU) with the new launch. However, this isn’t the first time when the telco has planned to deliver a differential offering for a certain group of customers. It brought a Platinum service for its postpaid users last year that was promised to deliver a faster experience, along with priority service. That was, however, suspended by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) specifically for giving preferential treatment to some customers.
When asked on whether the Airtel Black programme has received a nod from the regulator, the telco said that it would be compliant with the TRAI guidelines.