Vodafone, Airtel, Jio to raise call, data tariffs
Mobile phone users across the country can expect bigger bills in the near future, as three leading service providers, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio, said on Sunday, December 1, that they will raise call and data plan charges.
While the revised tariffs for Airtel and Vodafone prepaid customers have been raised by as much as 41.2 per cent and will be effective starting December 3, 2019, the new plans for Jio will come into effect from December 6 that would see a hike in its voice and data charges by up to 40 per cent.
In its first mobile tariff increase in the past four years, telecom operator Vodafone Idea announced new plans under which call and data charges will be higher for its prepaid customers by up to 41.2 per cent from December 3. Bharti Airtel also announced similar changes. 'Airtel's new plans, represent tariff increases in the range of a mere 50 paise per day to Rs 2.85 per day and offer generous data and calling benefits,' it said in a statement.
Reliance Jio said it will launch new unlimited plans from December 6, which will raise its voice and data tariff by up to 40 per cent.
The Mukesh Ambani-led company, however, 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.
'Jio will be introducing new all-in-one plans with unlimited voice and data. These plans will have a fair usage policy for calls to other mobile networks. The new plans will be effective from 6th December 2019,' the company said in a statement.
Airtel too has offered benefits, while hiking the tariff. The company has said that it will provide exclusive benefits as part of the Airtel Thanks platform, which enables access to premium content from Airtel Xstream -- comprising 10,000 movies, exclusive shows, and 400 TV channels, Wynk Music, device protection, anti-virus protection and much more.
Vodafone Idea said in a statement on Sunday: 'Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), India's leading telecom service provider, today announced new tariffs/plans for its prepaid products and services. New plans will be available across India starting 00:00 hours of 3 December 2019.' The company also said it will charge 6 paise per minute for every outgoing call made by customers on to the network of other operators.
Vodafone Idea has announced new plans in 'unlimited' category with 2 days, 28 days, 84 days, 365 days validity, which a back-of-the-envelope calculation shows are costlier by up to 41.2 per cent. The company has only revised rates for plans offering unlimited mobile and data services and has also introduced some new plans.
A Vodafone Idea official said that all current plans in unlimited category will be replaced by new plans from December 3, and that the new plans will be introduced or revised based on the market response.
The highest rate of increase of 41.2 per cent was announced by Vodafone Idea in its annual unlimited category plan, which will cost Rs 2,399 instead of 1,699 at present. The starting plan with a data offering of 1.5 Gb per day with 84 days validity in 'unlimited' category will cost around 31 per cent more at Rs 599 compared to Rs 458 at present. The company will raise the price of Rs 199 unlimited plan, which offers 1.5 Gb data per day, by about 25 per cent to Rs 249.
Vodafone Idea, which is reeling under massive debt of around Rs 1.17 lakh crore, had earlier cited acute financial stress on the company behind the decision to raise mobile call and data charges.
Vodafone Idea last month reported a consolidated loss of Rs 50,921 crore -- the highest ever loss posted by any Indian corporate -- for the September quarter on account of liability arising out of the Supreme Court's order in the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) case. The company has estimated liability of Rs 44,150 crore post the apex court order, and made provisioning of Rs 25,680 crore in the second quarter this fiscal.