NEW DELHI :
MOBILE calls and Internet charges will go up by up to 50 per cent in the country, as private sector players - Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio - on Sunday announced their plans to raise tariffs from December 3 onwards. This is the first hike in last five years in the country’s telecom space that was facing bruising tariff war, with voice calls becoming almost free and data prices fell by 95 per cent to Rs 11.78 per GB from Rs 269 per GB in 2014. While Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have shared new rates in the “unlimited” category that will replace their existing pre-paid plans with up to 50 per cent higher cost, Reliance Jio said it will roll out new all-in-one plans with unlimited voice and data at up to 40 per cent higher price from December 6.
Vodafone Idea was first to announce “new tariffs/plans for its prepaid products and services. New plans will be available across India starting 00:00 hours of 3 December 2019”. Bharti Airtel followed Vodafone Idea by announcing similar plans to raise mobile pre-paid services rates. Vodafone Idea announced maximum increase of 50 per cent in its entry level unlimited plan with a year-long validity of Rs 1,499 with 24 GB data usage limit in place of Rs 999 plan, which comes with 12 GB data usage limit. Bharti Airtel too announced a similar level of change but kept price of most of the new plans lower by Re 1 compared to that of Vodafone Idea. From December 3, customers of these two companies will have to shell out a minimum of Rs 49 to make calls, access the internet on mobile and stay connected for four weeks. Reliance Jio also announced with plans to raise mobile services rates from December 6 onwards.
“The new plans will be effective from December 6, 2019. Although, the new All-In-One plans will be priced up to 40 per cent higher, staying true to its promise of being customer-first, Jio customers will get up to 300 per cent more benefits,” Jio said. While telecom operators have been offering unlimited voice calling, both Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have now decided to cap the outgoing calls outside their network from December 3.
Both the companies have capped outgoing calls to network of other telecom operator to 1,000 minutes in case of plans with 28 days validity, 3,000 in 84 days validity plans and 12,000 in 365 days validity plans. Beyond this limit, customer will need to pay 6 paisa per minute for outgoing calls. Jio has said that that company’s new “plans will have a fair usage policy for calls to other mobile networks”. The last increase in mobile tariffs was noticed in 2014.