The private telecom operators of India including Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea (Vi) are likely to hike the prices of their prepaid plans once again by Diwali 2022. According to a new report, the telecom operators would likely hike the prepaid tariffs by 10-12 per cent. If this happens then it will be the second time the operators had increased the prices of its prepaid plans.
Last year in November , Airtel and Vi hiked the prepaid tariffs by up to 20-25 per cent and soon after Jio followed the trend. This made the price of the prepaid plans of the three operators costlier. For example, the Rs 79 plan of Jio went up to Rs 99, while higher-tier plans saw a price increase of up to three digits. Likewise, the cost of 28-days validity plan offered by Airtel became Rs 839 from Rs 698.
Reports have suggested that the Airtel, Jio and Vodafone Idea might make the 10-12 per cent tariff hike in order to boost the ARPU (average revenue per user) to Rs 200, Rs 185 and Rs 135 respectively.
Vi’s low paying 2G customers are reportedly hurting the telco’s revenues, and strategies must be made to not just attract new customers, but also push legacy network users to upgrade to 4G services.
Prepaid plans price hiked by 20-25 per cent in 2021
Airtel and Vodafone Idea announced that the telcos would be increasing prepaid tariffs by up to 20-25 per cent in November 2021. Airtel’s 2GB per day plan with 84 days validity went up from Rs 698 to Rs 839 post the hike. Reliance Jio also hiked the prices of its plans soon after from December 1, 2021. Like we said earlier, popular low-tier plans like the Rs 79 plan went up to Rs 99, while higher-tier plans saw a price increase of up to three digits.
The price of the data-add on plans were also increased. It changed the cost of Rs 48 (3GB), Rs 98 (12GB) and Rs 251 (50GB) to Rs 58, Rs 118 and Rs 301 respectively. Airtel had said in a statement at the time that the higher ARPU would help the telco to “enable substantial investments required in networks and spectrum” and also roll out 5G services in the country.
Meanwhile, even after the hiked prices, Reliance Jio still offered lower prices in popular plans compared to Airtel and Vodafone Idea.