Airtel and Vodafone Idea to increase tariff from Dec

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are set to increase their tariff for voice and data from December.
Nepal smartphone user image by Sanjaal
Both Airtel and Vodafone Idea reported huge loss during their September quarter in the wake of the pending AGR dues. Both Airtel and Vodafone Idea have lost significant number of mobile phone subscribers in the last three months.

Reliance Jio – owned by Mukesh Ambani and the state-owned BSNL are yet to announce any tariff revision.

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea did not reveal more details. Recently, Reliance Jio stopped free tariffs on phone calls from its network to rival phone companies.

India’s telecom sector requires continuous capital investments to keep up with the fast changing technology cycles, Bharti Airtel said in a statement on Monday evening.

“It is, therefore, extremely important that the industry remains viable to support the vision of Digital India,” the Sunil Mittal-company said in a statement. It will raise the prices of its services in the month beginning December. Airtel will appropriately increase price offerings in the month beginning December.

“While continuing to provide affordable tariffs to customers, it would balance the needs of the company to remain viable and thereby continue to invest in the digital infrastructure and maintain the quality standards required by our customers,” Airtel said.

Vodafone Idea said it will increase the prices of its tariffs effective December 1, 2019. Airtel and Vodafone Idea, offer voice and data bundled plans, where the tariff rises progressively in line with the data bandwidth and speed, whereas voice calling is unlimited.

Vodafone Idea, building on its largest spectrum footprint and by accelerating its network integration, is speedily expanding both its coverage and capacity and is well on track to offer 4G services to 1 billion Indian citizens by March 2020.

Mounting loss

Vodafone Idea has posted loss of Rs 50,921 crore during the July-September quarter due to provision for the Supreme Court’s ruling on payment of AGR dues.

Bharti Airtel posted loss of Rs 23,044 crore for the quarter ended 30 September 2019 due to Rs 28,450 crore provisions towards AGR.

The India government last week sent notices to all the telecom operators and internet service providers to pay their license fee and spectrum usage charge dues to the government as per the definition of what constitutes adjusted gross revenue given by the Supreme Court in its order dated October 24, 2019.

Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) director general Rajan Mathews told PTI that the government should grant telecom companies a three-year moratorium followed by an extended timeline for payment of statutory dues at easier interest rates, as the telecom sector is reeling under losses after the Supreme Court ruling on AGR liabilities.