Reliance Jio vs Vodafone vs Airtel: The best prepaid international roaming packs

Planning to take a trip abroad? You don’t want to leave your phone behind, and you might not want to be entirely dependent on free Wi-Fi either. In such cases, it’s helpful to activate international roaming on your Indian connection, and take it along with you. The advantage of this is that your numbers remains switched on and active, and you can continue to make and receive calls on your own number.

While postpaid subscribers are well covered by international roaming plans, prepaid users too have a good range of options. We’ve covered the key prepaid international roaming plans from three of the country’s biggest operators, Reliance Jio, Vodafone and Airtel, and here they are.

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Reliance Jio Prepaid International Roaming Packs

Rs 575 recharge

This pack has a validity of one day, and gives users 100 minutes of calling (combined for outgoing local calls in the country plus calls to India), 100 SMS and unlimited data, with high-speed access limited to 250MB per day. Post the high-speed use, users can continue to surf at 64kbps speeds. A total of 20 countries are covered in this pack, including UAE, United States, Thailand and Singapore, to name a few. Incoming calls are entirely free on this plan.

Rs 1,101 recharge

This pack offers a monetary value of Rs 1,211 and 5 ISD SMS. Usage will be charged according to the roaming rates mentioned on the Jio website.

Rs 2,875 recharge

This plan has the same benefits as the Rs 575 recharge, but has a validity of seven days, allowing up to 250MB high-speed data usage per day. For users that are using the plan over seven days, it is more economical than doing daily recharges of the Rs 575 plan.

Rs 5,751 recharge

This pack has a validity of 30 days, with a total of 1500 minutes (outgoing local in the country and calls to India), 1500 SMS and unlimited data usage, limited to 5GB of high-speed data, after which the speed will drop to 64kbps. The plan is ideal for users who are going on a long trip, but won’t need too much usage. As with the other plans, a total of 20 countries are covered.

Vodafone Prepaid International Roaming Plans

i-Roam Free 1 – Rs 575

The entry-level plan from Vodafone is the same price as the one from Jio with the same one-day validity, but offers 1GB of data for the day with a charge of Rs 1/MB beyond the included usage, and 100 minutes per day of calls (local + calls to India) in 20 countries including the United States, UAE, UK, Singapore and Thailand, to name a few. In 41 other covered countries, users get 300MB per day (Rs 1/MB beyond the included usage) and 50 minutes of outgoing calls. Incoming calls are free on the plan.

i-Roam Free 2 / 3 / 4 / 7 / 10 – Rs 1151 / Rs 1725 / Rs 2301 / Rs 2875 / Rs 4025

These plans offer the same benefits as the i-Roam Free 1 plan, but with the data limit and calls increased according to the number of days. These packs offer from two to ten days of validity.

i-Roam Free 28 – Rs 5,751

This plan is priced the same as the equivalent plan from Jio, but with slightly less validity of 28 days. The plan gives users 15GB of data (Rs 1/MB after the included usage), and 100 minutes of outgoing calls per day (local in the country + calls to India), but this is only valid in the 20 major countries covered. In the remaining 41 countries, the benefits cap at 5GB included data and a total of 500 minutes of calls.

Airtel Prepaid International Roaming Plans

Rs 196 recharge

This basic pack offers 20 minutes of combined outgoing, incoming and calls to India when roaming in a select list of countries, for a total of seven days. This doesn’t sound like much, but it can work well as an emergency option.

Rs 494 / Rs 647 / Rs 649 / Rs 996 recharge

These plan offers unlimited incoming calls or a cap of 100 minutes on incoming (depending on the pack), 500MB data, 100 SMS per day and 100 minutes of outgoing calls (local in the country + calls to India), with validity of one day. A large list of countries are covered, and the cost of the pack as above depends on the country that the user is visiting. Airtel subscribers can check which plan is applicable on the company’s website.

Rs 1,199 to Rs 6,999 recharges

Airtel also has various longer validity recharges offering data and calling benefits, which again vary according to the country that the subscriber is visiting. The Rs 2,498, Rs 3,997 and Rs 6,999 plans offer 5GB data, 100 SMS per day, 500 minutes of outgoing calls and either unlimited incoming or a cap of 500 minutes, depending on the plan and country.