The telecom sector witnessed a huge shift with Vodafone Idea and Airtel officially hiking mobile tariffs on Tuesday. Though Reliance Jio has also announced their plans to hike tariffs, it has not formalised the changes.
Among the revisions made, the most significant one is charging for calls made outside its networks at Rs 0.06 per minute. Known as Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC), it sets a limit for the calls one can make to users of other networks such as Reliance Jio.
For Airtel users, the hike comes in the range of 50 paise per day to Rs 2.85 per day. After its Free Usage Policy (FUP) where users can make unlimited calls from its networks to other networks, a charge of 6 paise per minute will be levied. The revised plan comes with perks such as offering access to services including Airtel Xstream, Wynk and Hello Tunes. These benefits along with an added anti-virus protection can be availed for plans starting from Rs 169. Breaking down its revised tariff plans, the first in the list is Rs 19 plan which used to offer unlimited calling and 150MB for two days. With revision, a 100 SMS provision has been added, keeping the plan intact. The premium packs starting from Rs 998 comes with minor changes.
For Vodafone Idea users, the new tariffs for its prepaid products and services are roughly calculated to be 42 per cent costlier than its earlier plans. By increasing the prices of all its major plans, including combo vouchers, unlimited packs with 28, 84, and 365 days of validity and unlimited sachet packs, it has set off tremors in the telecom sector. The prepaid unlimited plans now come in four packs at Rs149, Rs249, Rs299 and Rs399. With variations in data allowances and SMS quota, these packs share almost similar benefits. Though the company has set a collection of plans in the ‘unlimited category’, these plans come with a limited data usage at prescribed speed and 100 SMS per day limit. The highest increase is in the annual unlimited category plan of Rs 1,699 which has now spiked to Rs 2,399.
Apart from Airtel and Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio has announced a tariff hike of 40 per cent. For Jio, it intends to introduce an “all in one” plan from December 6 across various price points with unlimited voice and data which could be 15-20 per cent cheaper than its rivals, as per analysts. The company claims to have 300 per cent more benefits than earlier.
Both Vodafone Idea and Airtel had stated separately that they were taking measures to hike tariff due to the financial stress in the sector.