New Delhi: Prepaid mobile users need to get ready to pay more for recharges as telecom companies including Airtel are likely to go for the next round of tariff hikes.
Airtel has already hiked the tariffs by as much as 57 percent in Odisha and Haryana circles. Apart from it, it has discontinued the Rs. 99 recharge that offers 200 MB with a validity of 28 days in the circles.
In the states, the new minimum plan cost Rs. 155 for unlimited talk time, 1GB of data, and 300 messages for 24 days.
As soon as Airtel announced the hike in tariffs in the states, analysts started predicting that it is an exercise to test the water and sooner the hike in mobile recharges will be implemented in the entire India.
A few of them also say that other telecom companies will also follow the trend.
Will Airtel’s decision to hike mobile recharges benefit Vodafone Idea?
The third-largest telecom operator in India Vodafone Idea (Vi) is likely be benefited from Airtel’s decision to bring a hike in mobile recharges.
As most Indian mobile users depend on a minimum recharge plan, any hike in the tariff may encourage them to look for alternative options.
In such a scenario, mobile customers who are looking for affordable options may port to Vi.
Though Vi may also look to hike the tariffs to improve average revenue per user (ARPU), if it manages to keep them a little lower than the other two competitors, it can gain a lot of mobile customers.
Given the fact that Vi was able to add only 1.6 million new 4G customers in the second quarter of FY23, the telecom company may prioritize increasing their customers than tariffs.
Tariff hikes were expected since the launch of 5G services in India
Though all telecom companies in India had kept their tariff rates same despite the launch of the 5G services in India, many analysts have predicted hikes in the near future.
The hikes are expected as telecom companies are gearing up to invest significantly in rolling out 5G services pan-India.
Airtel is planning to roll out the service in five thousand towns/cities by March 2024 to acquire early adaptors.