Telecom Lead Asia: Mobile service providers — Bharti Airtel and Vodafone – have increased 2G data rates by up to 30 percent in 2013.
Rivals are expected to take similar steps to cover costs and improve margins, said industry officials.
Bharti Airtel revised its 1GB 2G data plan from Rs 100 to Rs 125.
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“This nominal price revision is subject to rate elasticity, customer demand and supporting cost structures. Our recent revision is an increase of only 2-3 paise per MB. It continues to be an excellent value proposition for our customers,” an Airtel spokesperson said.
Vodafone too has made similar changes in the monthly plans and has reduced data limits available under various prepaid plans.
While the Rs 95 plan (28 days validity) is now available for Rs 124, others plans allowing 250 MB data usage and 150 MB usage have been reduced to 150 MB and 100MB, respectively.
“We are aware of some of our competitors increasing tariffs for 2G data recently. We see this as an encouraging step for the industry and are taking corrective measures accordingly at our end,” said Vodafone spokesperson.
Bharti Airtel CEO (India and South Asia) Sanjay Kapoor recently said: “The current tariffs do not even cover marginal costs for most operators. So from an economics perspective, do we need to increase prices? The answer is yes.”
Since Telenor, Videocon and Aircel are exiting from some of the telecom circles, it will be easy for their established rivals to hike tariffs.
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