As per new updates, both Idea and Airtel has increased 3G data charges for their post-paid customers by 20%.
The new increased tariffs have been rolled out selected circles across India.
Airtel has implemented these increased charges in Delhi, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab, Rajasthan, UP East and UP West circles; while Idea’s new rates would be applicable in Delhi, Punjab and UP West.
In these circles, both Airtel and Idea post paid customers would now pay Rs 300 for 1 GB of 3G data, which was Rs 250 earlier.
As per Airtel, this new tariff would be only applicable for new customers; Idea refused to share more details.
Within 2 months, this is the second time telecom operators have increased data charges. In the month of June, Airtel, Idea and Vodafone had increased 3G and 2G data charges for their pre-paid customers by 11 to 47%.
However, Vodafone hasn’t issued any update for post-paid customers yet as they are still offering 3G data for post paid account at Rs 250 per 1 GB.
However, the question arises, why this sudden increase in rates, especially when 4G is about to be rolled out by Reliance Jio and Airtel?
2 Possible Reasons for Increased Data Rates
We are amidst a very intense battle for 4G roll-out across India, as Reliance Jio wants to acquire 50 lakh customers in the first 50 hours of it’s launch, whereas Airtel wants to capture 44 cities before Reliance Jio enters the arena.
We have heard rumors that Reliance Jio may offer 4G at lowest ever rates; as per some insider sources, it can touch Rs 60 per 1GB, which is 60-75% less than what telecom operators are currently offering.
Hence, there arise two possibilities which can be the reason why Idea, Airtel and Vodafone decided to hike their 3G charges:
a) Bait and Watch:
Old psychological theories in marketing says that if you increase the price of a product, and then offer discount and sales, then it clicks with the end user; and his mind is tricked into believing that the bargain is good.
Idea, Vodafone and Airtel must be aware of the cut throat prices which Reliance Jio can offer for 4G services, and to counter that, they may be increasing the price of 3G data right now, only to decrease it once Reliance Jio jumps into the market. Hence, it can be a perfect ‘bait and watch’ technique to get more customers.
b) Book Profits Before Its Too Late:
The other possibility, which is both short sighted and evil, is that Idea, Vodafone and Airtel are aware that they can’t compete against Reliance Jio when it comes pricing; hence book as much profits as it’s possible before the bigger fish enters the arena.
What do you think of the possible reason of increasing the data charges just before the 4G launch? Do share your views by commenting right here!