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Saturday, February 4, 2023

Airtel Hiking Base Tariffs to Rs 155 in 9 Circles is a Positive Move for Industry


Bharti Airtel, India’s second-largest telecom operator, has hiked the base tariffs in over seven more circles. To recall, the telco had increased the base tariffs in two circles from Rs 99 to Rs 155 in Odisha and Haryana in 2022. Now, the same has happened in seven more circles – Bihar, HP, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Northeast, and UP-West. It means an increase of 57% in the base rate of the prices. Overall, this is a good thing for the industry, as when the tariffs move up, the average revenue per user (ARPU) per month also goes up.

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The Rs 155 plan comes with 1GB of data, 300 SMS, and unlimited voice calling with a validity of 28 days. The Rs 99 plan, which has been discontinued, offers 200MB of data and came with a talk time of Rs 99 and a validity of 28 days. Vodafone Idea would be particularly smiling in the corner looking at this price hike.

Other Telcos Can also Move Ahead with the Tariff Hike

This tariff hike from Bharti Airtel would benefit the other telcos as well. Jio and Vi can now also move ahead with the tariff hike in a phased manner, starting with the circles that Airtel has gone with. Vi still would need a larger-scale tariff hike to be implemented by the other telcos before it can make an impactful move to raise the ARPU figure.

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But this is a move that would be a positive one for the investors as well. The higher the ARPU, the more the revenues and the more chances to increase profits. An Airtel spokesperson told ET that they have removed the Rs 99 plan in seven more circles, and now the base plan is the Rs 155 option. This is going to impact the Airtel customers on the Rs 99 plan a lot. But with the 5G rolling out, it is more likely that Airtel would implement the same in the other circles as well.

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