Bharti Airtel on Monday jacked up tariffs across its pre-paid plans as the Sunil Mittal-company looks to ramp up its average revenue per user and generate funds for its 5G charge.
Airtel announced 20-25 per cent tariff hikes for various prepaid offerings, including tariffed voice plans, unlimited voice bundles and data top-ups. The new rates will
come into effect from November 26.
In tariffed voice plans, the rates have been hiked 25.2 per cent to Rs 99 from Rs 79, with 50 per cent more talktime.
In a statement announcing the revised mobile tariffs, Airtel said the average revenue per user (ARPU) had to rise to Rs 200 a month — and eventually to Rs 300 — in order to ensure a healthy return on capital that was critical to support a healthy business model.
“We also believe that this level of ARPU will enable the substantial investments required in networks and spectrum. Even more important, this will give Airtel the elbow room to roll out 5G in India,” the Airtel statement said. Airtel has an user base of 32.3 crore and its ARPU at the end of the second quarter is Rs 153.
Shares of Bharti Airtel on Monday gained nearly 4 per cent. In the unlimited voice bundle, the tariffs have been jacked up to Rs 179 from Rs 149 with benefits such as 100 SMS/day, 2 GB data.
At the top end, the Rs 2,498 plan has been hiked to Rs 2,999 and comes with 365 days of unlimited calling, 100 SMS/day and 2 GB/day data.
For data top-ups, the Rs 48 plan would now cost Rs 58, offering 3GB data; while the Rs 98 plan has been increased to Rs 118 with 12GB data.
Airtel also announced a tariff hike in Rs 251 data top-up plan, which will now cost Rs 301 with 50 GB data.
Vodafone Idea CEO Ravinder Takkar, during a recent investor call, had asserted that tariff hike remains critical for continued revival of the sector. He said the company has started working on raising tariffs, and it is expected to be in place soon.
Bharti Airtel added 2.74 lakh subscribers in September even as larger rival Reliance Jio lost 1.9 crore users and Vodafone Idea lost 10.77 lakh subscribers during the month, according to telecom regulator Trai.