After Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel announces hike in mobile call, data charges

After Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel has now announced a hike in mobile call, data charges. It will be implemented from December 3.

According to a PTI report, the telecom operator will raise call and data plan charges for pre-paid customers from December 3.

"Bharti Airtel today announced its revised tariff plans for its mobile customers. These tariffs will be applicable from Tuesday, December 3, 2019," the company said in a statement.

Like Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel too will increase its entry level unlimited plan with a year-long validity by about 50 per cent to Rs 1,499 from with 24 GB of data in place of existing plan of Rs 998, which comes with 12 GB data usage limit.

The price 365 days validity plan in the same category with daily data usage limit of 1.5 GB per day will cost 41.2 per cent more at Rs 2,398 from December 3 instead of 1,699 at present.

The new pricing represents a very modest increase. The effective revision in today's context is equal to what a customer would pay for a cup of tea in week on a road side stall, a company official who did not wish to be named said.

Customers of both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea will have to pay a minimum of Rs 49 to stay connected for about a month after December 3.

Like Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel has also capped outgoing calls that can be made on 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 plan. Beyond this limit, customer will need to pay 6 paisa per minute for outgoing calls.

Highest rate increase of 41.14 per cent has been announced by the company in annual unlimited category plan which will cost Rs 2,398 instead of 1,699 at present.

The starting plan with data offering of 1.5 Gb per day with 84 days validity in "unlimited" category will cost around 31 per cent more at Rs 598 compared to Rs 458 at present.

The company will raise the price of Rs 199 unlimited plan, which offers 1.5 Gb data per day, by about 25 per cent to Rs 248.

In addition, Airtel said that it will provide exclusive benefits as part of the Airtel Thanks platform, which enables access to premium content from Airtel Xstream -- comprising 10,000 movies, exclusive shows, and 400 TV channels, Wynk Music, device protection, anti-virus protection and much more.

Earlier today Vodafone Idea announced new prepaid tariffs for its prepaid products and services from today, December 1.

The announcement came in the wake of the company's highest quarterly loss of Rs 50,922 crore amid an adverse Supreme Court ruling on adjusted gross revenue (AGR).

Airtel's colossal net loss of Rs 23,900 crore for just-ended September quarter was on account of exceptional charge pertaining to provisioning of Rs 28,450 crore towards the AGR dues, that included principle of Rs 6,164 crore, interest of Rs 12,219 crore, penalty of Rs 3,760 crore, and interest on penalty of Rs 6,307 crore.

Earlier in November, Reliance Jio had also announced its intention to increase mobile phone tariffs in the next few weeks.

"As per media reports, we understand that TRAI is likely to initiate a consultation process for revision of telecom tariffs. Like other operators, we will also work with the Government and comply with the regulatory regime to strengthen the industry to benefit Indian consumers and take measures including appropriate increase in tariffs in next few weeks in a manner that does not adversely impact data consumption or growth in digital adoption and sustains investments," the company had said in a press release.

(further details awaited)

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