This New Year, your phone bill could spur up by 15-20%, as telecom companies like Bharati Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) could finally roll out the increased revised tariff prices for their services.
The country’s three private telcos, namely Reliance Jio, Bharati Airtel and Vodafone Idea believe that the industry cannot thrive on the current prices allocated for voice and data services.
Their representatives have indulged in detailed discussion with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India to set a floor price for these services on a priority basis.
Now, the 2 aforementioned telcos are considering raising these tariffs either by the end of this year or early next year.
Rising Tariff Mandatory for Vi
Vodafone Idea has actively been losing its customer base to rivals Jio and Bharati Airtel.
The major private telecom giants have asked TRAI to set floor prices for voice and data services to improve the health of the telecom sector.
Vi announced that it is looking forward to increasing its tariff prices by 15-20%, as it desperately needs to fix its losses and improve its finances.
It have been reported that Vi will most probably increase the prices even while other telcos wait for TRAI to announce the fixed floor prices.
In fact, just some time back, CEO of Vi, Ravinder Takkar announced that they shall not shy away from hiking the voice and data services tariffs and could be the 1st telco among the three major private players in the country to do so, if required.
Additionally, Vi’s average revenue per user (ARPU) stands at Rs 119 at the end of Q2, while that of Bharti Airtel is at Rs 162 and Jio at Ra 145.
What can You Expect from Airtel and Jio?
While Takkar claims that Vi could be the 1st telco to roll out hiked tariffs, Bharati Airtel plans to play it safe.
The telco claims that it may follow Vi’s suit of rising tariffs but it will closely watch over rival Reliance Jio’s moves and then calculate their rates accordingly.
After the Q2 results were out, Takkar told analysts,
“Ongoing consultations around floor price (for data rates) doesn’t stop anyone from hiking tariffs, but the timing has to be right, but we can assure you that the tariff hike decision is not far away.”
However, Bharti Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal on the other hand, assures that while they would too hike the tariff prices because it is innately essential, it will surely not be the 1st operator to do so and will closely follow its peers.
Speaking of Reliance Jio, there is still no clarity on whether the telco will follow its rivals’ suit, a major reason of which is a decrease in the pace of its user additions.
In the July-September quarter, while Jio recorded about 7 million new subscribers, Airtel added an impressive double of 14 million new users. Vi lost 8 million users.