India telcos raise rates, promise more benefits

MUMBAI, 2 Dec 2019:

India telecom companies have raised tariff 15-40% across different plans effective this week, Xinhua news agency reported, quoting statements issued by the India’s telecom companies.

“Our new mobile plans offer tremendous value to our customers and are backed by a superior network experience on Airtel’s nationwide 4G network,” said Shashwat Sharma, chief marketing officer, Bharti Airtel, the third largest mobile network operator in India late yesterday.

Vodafone Idea, the second largest telecom operator in India, too made a statement announcing revised tariffs – which will be effective tomorrow – along with Bharti Airtel, while Reliance Jio – which leads the list as the top Indian telecom company – said it will be introducing new plans with unlimited voice and data effective Dec 6.

“Although, the new all-in-one plans will be priced up to 40% higher, staying true to its promise of being customer-first, Reliance Jio customers will get up to 300% more benefits,” Reliance Jio said in a release.

According to a recent study, India has the cheapest mobile data in the world with 1GB costing just US$0.26 as compared to global average of about US$8.36. The average price of US$0.26 dollars for one gigabyte (GB) in India compares to US$6.66 in the UK and US$12.37 for the same amount of data in the US, the study, which compared mobile data charges across 230 countries, said.

The revised tariff comes at the backdrop of telecom companies reporting huge losses in its July-September quarter following an adverse ruling by India’s apex court – the Supreme Court on adjusted gross revenue.

Earlier this year, Vodafone Idea raised equity funds to the extent of US$3.6 billion while an equal amount was raised by Bharti Airtel to tide over the price war triggered by the entry of Reliance Jio two years back.

– Bernama