QR.bizNewsBharti Airtel, Jio, Vodafone Idea hike call, data charges

Bharti Airtel, Jio, Vodafone Idea hike call, data charges

Bharti Airtel ("Airtel"), India's largest integrated telecommunications company, today announced its revised tariff plans for its mobile customers.

Customers of Vodafone, too, will now have to pay a minimum of Rs 49 for a connection, which is a significant increase from the earlier rate of tariff. New plans will be available to purchase across the country starting December 3.

As per the Communications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad's replies in Parliament, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and other telecom companies owe the government as much as Rs 1.47 lakh crore in past statutory dues. Next is the Rs 249 plan which offers 100 daily SMS and 1.5GB daily data.

Further, there is also Rs. 2,399 pack which comes with 12,000 minutes of off-net calls, 1.5GB of daily data, 100 SMSes per day, and 365-days validity.

At the same, Rs 998 annual plan with 365 days validity with 12 GB of data will now cost Rs 1498, with 24GB data and 365 days of validity.

Airtel's new plans represent tariff increases in the range of 50 paise per day to Rs 2.85 per day and offer generous data and calling benefits, the company said in a statement.

The highest rate of increase of 41.2 percent has been announced by the company in an annual unlimited category plan which will cost Rs 2,399 instead of Rs 1,699 at present. Under this plan, you get 2 days validity, 100 free SMS, and 150MB data.

Reliance Jio also said it would be introducing new plans with unlimited voice and data. All the updated Vodafone Idea plans have FUP limit of 1,000 minutes on off-net calls (Vodafone to other networks).

The move from the companies follows the Supreme Court judgement on adjusted gross revenue. Just like Reliance Jio, Airtel is also including a fair-usage-policy on unlimited calling from Airtel to other networks. "Since the average tariff hike by these two players will come to around 25 per cent, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone should see a rise in their revenues by around Rs 7,000 crore and Rs 6,000 crore respectively".

According to Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai), prices of mobile data have fallen drastically by about 95 per cent to Rs 11.78 per gigabyte (GB). The pre-tax loss in the year-ago quarter stood at Rs 1,998 crore.

The companies are seeking waiver of interest and penalties on the dues and extended payment timelines instead of three months mandated by the SC. "Jio will continue to work with the Government on the consultation process for revision of telecom tariffs and looks forward to participation from all other stakeholders", the statement added.

The current yearly plan worth Rs 1,699 would be charged Rs 2,398, among other rate hikes.

Though Jio did not provide more details about its new plans, it claimed that it was "determined to strengthen the telecom sector" and that it will take measures, including "appropriate increase" in tariffs, in a manner "that does not adversely impact data consumption or growth in digital adoption" and sustains investments. "The new plans will be effective from 6th December 2019", the company said in a statement.

Vodafone-Idea to raise mobile call data charges from December 3

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