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Vodafone Idea, Airtel, Jio Announce Tariff Hike

Low tariff era for Indian consumers is over as Indian telcos led Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), Bharti Airtel Limited and Reliance Jio has decided to hike their tariffs upto 40% for pre-paid customers.

While Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), and Sunil Bharti Mittal led Bharti Airtel have decided to hike the tariffs with effect from December 3, Mukesh Ambani led Reliance Jio has decided to effect the hike from December 6.

All three telcos put together serve over 90% of India’s 1.18 billion mobile subscribers with each having market share of around 30%.

“New plans will be available across India starting 00:00 hours of December 3, 2019,” said a Vodafone Idea statement while Bharti Airtel’s statement said, “Airtel’s new plans, represent tariff increases in the range of a mere 50 paise/day to Rs. Rs. 2.85/day and offer generous data and calling benefits.”

Reliance Jio new tariffs will be priced 40% higher but it promised to offer 300% more benefits to its customers.

“Jio will be introducing new all-in-one plans with unlimited voice and data. These plans will have a fair usage policy for calls to other mobile networks. The new plans will be effective from December 6, 2019,” said Jio customer.

The hike in tariff announcement came after Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel posted record quarterly loss of Rs. 50,922 crore and Rs. 23,045 crore due to an adverse Supreme Court ruling on the adjusted gross revenue (AGR).

Commenting on the price hike, Shashwat Sharma, Chief Marketing Officer, Bharti Airtel said, “Our new mobile plans offer tremendous value to our customers and are backed by a superior network experience on Airtel’s nationwide 4G network. Airtel will continue to make large investments in emerging technologies and digital platforms to deliver world-class experiences to our customers.”

Both Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel announced new pre-paid plans starting 2 days, 28 days, 84 days and 365 days validity and price starting Rs. 19 and goes up to Rs. 2399 (see chart below) while Reliance JIo is yet to announce its new plans. “Our new tariff plans will be announced soon,” a Reliance Jio official told The Hindu.

“This is just the beginning. The telecom tariffs needs to almost double in the coming year to support a three-player market and a healthy telecom sector,” Paras Bothra, President — Equities, Angel Stock Broking told The Hindu.

Both Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have over Rs. 1 lakh crore of outstanding debt respectively.

“VIL continues to actively invest in building digital infrastructure by embedding new age technologies to make its network future-fit. Building on its largest spectrum footprint and by accelerating its network integration, VIL is speedily expanding both its coverage and capacity and is well on track to offer 4G services to 1 billion Indian citizens by March 2020,” said the Vodafone Idea statement adding that it remains committed to play its role in actualizing the vision of Digital India by offering world class digital experiences to cater to the evolving needs of its over 300 million customers.

VIL shares on BSE closed up 3.17% at Rs 6.83 in a firm Mumbai market on Friday, valuing the company at Rs. 19,626.27 crore while Bharti Airtel shares closed up 1.28% at Rs. 442.30, valuing the company at Rs. 226986.67 crore. RIL shares closed down 1.84% at Rs. 1550.90 on Friday, valuing the company at Rs. 983140.16 crore. ―The Hindu

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