Vodafone Idea Ltd. has hiked prices of its prepaid plans by up to 42 percent, against the backdrop of a Supreme Court ruling on how telecom firms calculate revenue and unrelenting competition from peers, notably Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd.
The telecom operator will also charge 6 paise per minute for every outgoing call to a rival network. Vodafone Idea’s new prepaid plans come into effect on Dec. 3.
“Vodafone Idea Ltd., India’s leading telecom service provider, today announced new tariffs/plans for its prepaid products and services. New plans will be available across India starting 00:00 hours of 3 December 2019,” the company said in a statement.
The company has announced new prepaid plans in “unlimited”category with two days, 28 days, 84 days, 365 days validity which, calculations show, are costlier by up to 41.2 percent.
Vodafone Idea has only revised rates of plans promising unlimited mobile and data services and has also introduced some new prepaid plans.
A company official said all the existing prepaid plans in unlimited category will be replaced by the new plans from Dec. 3; the new plans will be introduced or revised based on market response.
Though the company classifies a set of plans in “unlimited” category, these actually come with usage limit for data at a promised speed and 100 SMSes per day limit.
Vodafone Idea, saddled with Rs 1.17 lakh crore debt, has cited acute financial stress as the reason to raise mobile call and data charges.
Vodafone Idea last month reported a consolidated loss of Rs 50,921 crore—the highest ever loss posted by any Indian corporate—for the September quarter on account of liability arising out of the Supreme Court’s verdict in the adjusted gross revenue case.
The company has estimated liability of Rs 44,150 crore post the apex court order, and made provisioning of Rs 25,680 crore in the second quarter of the ongoing fiscal.―Bloomberg Quint