Airtel announces Revised Tariffs for Mobile customers

Telecom operators hike mobile tariffs, data tariffs by upto 42 per cent

In a series of price hike announcements on Sunday, telecom operators Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio announced announced new plans under which call and data charges will be dearer for its pre-paid customers by up to 50 per cent from December 3. Prices of new prepaid plans start at Rs 19 with 2 days validity, and go all the way up to Rs 2,399 offering 365 days validity. Lastly, you have Rs 647 prepaid plan with 3,000 minutes of off-net calling, 1.5GB daily data, 100 free SMS daily and 84 days validity.

Setting the stage for a shake-up in the telecom sector, the country's three top service providers Sunday announced tariff hikes for the first time in around five years.

In a statement, 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". The base-end tariff offers Rs. 45 talktime, 100MB data, 1paise/second tariff, and validity of 28-days.

Similarly, the plans worth Rs 169 and Rs 199 for 28 days have been merged and a new pack of Rs 248 has been created which would offer the same benefits as the former two, with unlimited calling, 100 SMS per day and 1.5GB data per day. Among these, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are said to have recorded cumulative losses standing at Rs 74,000 crore quarterly.

Airtel raised prices across its plans.

On its part, Mukesh Ambani-controlled Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio) has launched new all-in-one plans, effectively increasing tariffs by upto 40 per cent. In Plan Rs 79, Rs 64 Talktime, 200 MB data, 1p/sec tariff, 28 days validity.

The highest rate of increase of 41.2 percent has been announced by the company in annual unlimited category plan which will cost Rs 2,399 instead of 1,699 at present. The Rs 197 plan comes with 2GB data and 300 free SMS, whereas the Rs 297 plan offers 1.5GB daily data and 100 free SMS. They all offer unlimited voice calls with an FUP of 3,000 minutes. The pre-tax loss in the year-ago quarter stood at Rs 1,998 crore.

The new Vodafone Idea plans are said to be costlier by up to 40% than the older plans.

The move from both the companies follows the Supreme Court judgement on adjusted gross revenue.

Reliance Jio said said that customers will get up to 300 per cent more benefits under the new plans and it will offer fair usage policy for outgoing calls from its subscribers on the network of other telecom operators.

The government is now not considering any proposal on waiver of penalties and interest on outstanding licence fee based on adjusted gross revenue (AGR), or on extending the timelines for telecom companies to pay up their statutory dues. If a user makes a call to other networks it will be considered as an off-net call. "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.

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