Bharti Airtel ups tariff by 2 times, Jio brings back ₹149, ₹98 plans

Mumbai: After revising its tariff plans last week, Bharti Airtel Ltd has undertaken another set of tariff hikes of three widely-subscribed prepaid unlimited plans by up to two times. The company's second-lowest, prepaid unlimited plan now starts at Rs 219 from Rs 169 earlier, with 1 GB per day data, 100 short-messaging-service allowance per day and a validity of 28 days, it tweeted.

Both the 56-day plans were earlier priced at Rs 199 and Rs 249, respectively.

Vodafone Idea has priced its tariffs similar to the plans offered by Bharti Airtel, but Reliance Industries Ltd-owned Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd has priced its lowest prepaid unlimited plan of 28 days validity and 1 GB per day data lower by around 28% at Rs 149.

The other two tariff plans offered by the industry disruptor are similar to those offered by the incumbent telecom service providers.

Furthermore, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have removed the cap on calls to networks other than their own. "...enjoy unlimited calling to any network in India with all our unlimited plans," Bharti Airtel," said in a tweet.

In contrast, Reliance Jio has capped its off-net calls, which are calls to other networks than its own, under the fair usage policy. Telecom companies can charge calls to other networks at 6 paise per minute.

These companies earlier increased their tariffs to improve their average revenue per user as the telecom industry is suffering from financial stress.

The condition of the sector has worsened after the Supreme Court upheld the government's plea to include the telecom companies non-core revenues as part of their adjusted gross revenue. The companies are expected to see an outgo of 920 bln rupees due to the apex court's judgement.

The chairman of Vodafone Idea on Friday said, "the carrier would have to 'shut shop' if the government didn't provide relief to the distressed sector.

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