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regular-article-logo Monday, 24 June 2024

Telecom companies likely to hike tariffs by 15-20 per cent after 2024 general elections

The extent of the hikes will depend on market dynamics and the response of the competitors — if one player goes ahead and triggers a price raise unilaterally

R. Suryamurthy New Delhi Published 12.01.24, 07:09 AM
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Mobile phone tariffs could go up as much as 20 per cent after the 2024 general elections, the first major hike since December 2021.

Telecom companies are likely to hike tariffs by 15-20 per cent post elections, analysts said, adding it is unlikely to be a one-shot increase but in phases.

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The extent of the hikes will depend on market dynamics and the response of the competitors — if one player goes ahead and triggers a price raise unilaterally.

Of the three operators, cash-strapped Vodafone Idea needs to raise tariffs the most, but it is not in a position to take the lead. The carrier has been losing subscribers, while its debt continues to mount.

“After more than two years, we expect a 20- per-cent-plus tariff hike in 2024. This is likely after general elections and would be needed to help improve the health of industry especially Vodafone Idea,” Bank of America Securities analysts said.

According to Jefferies, Indian telecommunication service providers are likely to report a 30 per cent jump in average revenue per user in 2024, driven by a 20 per cent tariff hike.

In 2024, more users will upgrade to 5G phones, as OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) are planning to bring more affordable devices. With a quick rollout, 5G subscribers could easily cross the 250 million mark in 2024. This will be a sizeable market for the telcos to monetize.

Tariffs do need to go up and the industry needs to become viable, Gopal Vittal, managing director, and chief executive officer of Bharti Airtel Ltd., had said during second-quarter earnings call. “You just have to time it and do it.”

Jio roaming

Reliance Jio on Thursday announced new international roaming plans for the UAE and US, and cut its in-flight pack rates by 60 per cent.

The UAE packs range between Rs 898 and Rs 2,998, while the US, Mexico and US Virgin Islands packs range between Rs 1,555 and Rs 3,455 for varying validity.

Jio has also announced an annual international roaming plan for Rs 2,799 which is applicable in 51 countries.

The service provider has introduced three new in-flight plans for Rs 195, 295 and 595 respectively with 100 minutes of voice, 100 SMS and data ranging between 250 MB and 1 GB. With inputs from Calcutta Bureau

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