Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Airtel raises prepaid tariff by 20%

In a bid to arrest low margins and profitability that is hurting the entire telecom industry, Bharti Airtel, India's largest mobile service operator, has taken a bold move to hike call tariffs by 20 % in five of its leading circles.

The hikes announced on 22.07.11, which are expected to have major implications on pricing in the highly competitive and cutthroat market, will be for its pre-paid subscribers in New Delhi, Gujarat, Madhya Pradesh, Kerala and Andhra Pradesh circles. Prepaid typically constitutes 95 % of the entire subscriber base.

The increase in tariff will be for Airtel's per minute billing plan-Advantage-as well as for the per-second Freedom packs. The changes will be implemented on calls and SMS rates within the Airtel network even as tariffs remain unchanged for calls and text messages sent from Airtel to other operators. Subscribers of the Advantage pack will now pay 60 paise instead of 50 paise per minute for local and STD calls and 90 paise for calls to landlines.

An Airtel spokesperson said, ''Telecom is probably the only industry where despite increasing inflation, tariffs have been falling unabatedly. Continuously declining margins, high 3G and BWA auction prices, constrained spectrum and rural rollout aspirations leave us with little choice but to make some price corrections.''


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