When the first mobile call was made in the World by Martin Cooper, a Motorola researcher, in 1973 to his rival in Bell Labs using a 1.1 kg mammoth mobile phone from a street in New York, little did he realize that he would be liberating the whole humanity into a truly mobile generation? The cell since then has lost considerable weights and undergone n number of innovations and iterations to evolve into the present day ubiquitous, sleek and indispensable modern communication instrument.
In India first mobile service was introduced on non-commercial basis in Delhi on 15th August 1995 and by October 2017, India had 1.178 billion mobile subscribers, second largest in the World. The explosive growth in mobile telephony has been spurred by the lowest call tariffs in the World due to intense competition amongst the mobile service providers. The largest mobile service provider Airtel had 290.12 million subscribers almost 25% of the total mobile sector in India closely followed by 18.2% market share of Vodafone as of December 2017.
From the very beginning the share of prepaid market share has been more as compared to the post paid connections primarily due to the fact that pre paid connections offer more flexibility and freedom in terms of usage without binding you to a fixed recurring monthly rental. In pre paid connections you are charged per minute on the basis of the actual usage but call charges are higher than a typical post paid connection.We have come a long way from the times when a single outgoing call was charged around Rs. 20 per minute and incoming was charged Rs. 9 per minute and still we used to give missed calls to the other person to save those Rs. 11 per minute besides monitoring the time for each call we used to make or receive.
Availing a pre-paid connection is also quite simple you can walk into an Airtel store and buy a pre-paid sim card. Due to all these facts the average age of pre-paid users is very low and pre-paid connections are preferred by college going youth and people who use their cell phones very sparingly. The simple flexibility of “pay as you use for what you use” is too attractive to ignore for the first time mobile connection user as well. Further in any case you get the option of converting to a post paid connection once your need changes.
Besides the advantages elaborated above there, there may be certain limitations in going ahead with a Pre-paid connection. First and foremost, it is not for heavy users for whom post-paid connections may prove more beneficial and cost effective. Pre-paid connection comes with a limited validity so if you are a very light mobile user then you may not be able to completely exhaust your credit and end up wasting money since the pre paid plans are applicable for a limited duration only. Also in case of opting for non unlimited packs, your limit may get exhausted earlier and you might get stuck in a difficult situation if the recharge option is not accessible for any reason whatsoever.
Finally to underline inspite of the shortcomings and limitations pre paid connections remain quite popular amongst the younger generation of the country who would like to curtail their expenses and use the mobile for basic communication and in case of necessity only.