regular-article-logo Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Bharti Airtel sets pace with 57% hike in tariffs

The impact of the hike would be closely monitored by rivals, and Vodafone Idea could follow suit

Our Special Correspondent New Delhi Published 22.11.22, 02:15 AM
Minimum recharge up to Rs 155 from Rs 99

Minimum recharge up to Rs 155 from Rs 99

As telecom operators gradually launch 5G services, Bharti Airtel is testing the waters with a steep 57 percent tariff hike in two circles.

The impact of the hike would be closely monitored by rivals, and Vodafone Idea could follow suit, analysts said.


Bharti Airtel has increased the price of its minimum recharge for a 28-day mobile phone service plan by about 57per cent to Rs 155 in Haryana and Odisha, according to the company’s website and analysts.

The company has stopped its minimum recharge plan ofRs 99, under which it offered 200 megabytes of data and calls at the rate of Rs 2.5 paise per second. In Haryana and Odisha, Airtel has now started offering the Rs 155-plan with unlimited calling, 1 GB of data and 300 SMS texts.

The company has started a trial of the new plan and is likely to roll it out in India-based on the result.

Analysts said the tariff hike could be done in a phased manner from the fourth quarter of this fiscal so that impact of the increase does not blow off the consumers.

It is likely to end all 28-day ling plans with SMS and data priced below Rs 155. Even for getting SMS service in the monthly plan, a customer will have to recharge his account with a Rs 155 voucher.

ICICI Securities said Airtel’s move has just added huge upside risk to its estimates.

“The earlier Rs 99 recharge had Rs 99 talk-time value and very limited data of 200 MB valid for 28 days. In contrast, the now-adopted Rs 155 minimum recharge gives unlimited voice, 1GB data allowance and 300 SMSes. This is a massive57 per cent surge in minimum recharge value, and has been done in the customer segment where affordability matters the most,” an ICICI Securities report said.

“Bharti has taken the industry’s first step in implementing a tariff hike. We expect it to now wait for a competitive reaction. If it does not find enough support, Bharti may be required to restore the Rs 99 pack.”

“It would then be difficult to imagine who would take the next step for a tariff hike —and would Bharti support it? Or has Bharti ‘made an offer its competitors cannot refuse?’In our view, yes it has,” the report said.

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