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Airtel Prepaid Plans Get Costlier, To Cost 25% More Than Jio, Vi


New Delhi: Bharti Airtel, India’s second-largest telecom service provider, on Monday announced 20-25 per cent tariff hikes for various prepaid offerings, including voice plans, unlimited voice bundles, and data top ups, effective from November 26.

According to PTI, the entry-level tariffed voice plan has been hiked by about 25 per cent, while for unlimited voice bundles the increase in most cases is about 20 per cent.

Bharti Airtel’s tariffed voice plans, the new rate is Rs 99, against the current Rs 79 with 28 days validity and benefits like “50 per cent more talk time worth Rs 99, 200 MB data, 1p/sec voice tariff”. The other segment where hike has been announced are unlimited voice bundles and data top ups.

The lowest prepaid plan of Airtel comes at Rs 10 with a talktime of Rs 7.47 and no data.

Vodafone-Idea’s (Vi’s) cheapest data pack starts at Rs 19 that offers 200MB data. The pack is valid for only 2 days. The plan also comes with truly unlimited calling facility but doesn’t offer SMS.

While Reliance Jio’s lowest recharge plan comes at Rs 10 talktime of Rs 7.47 and no data.

However, the most used plans of the three telcos are in the following:

Jio offers a plan for Rs 249, which will get you 2GB of data per day for 28 days, unlimited voice calling, 100 SMS per day, and free access to Jio apps such as JioTv, JioCinema and more.

Vi also offers a plan in the same price bracket at Rs 299, which will get you 4GB of data per day for 28 days along with 100 SMS per day, unlimited voice calling, and access to Vi Movies and TV.

Airtel’s Rs 298 plan offers 2GB of data per day for 28 days, 100 SMS per day, unlimited voice calling, and access to the mobile edition of Amazon Prime Video.

Bharti Airtel in a statement said, “We also believe that this level of ARPU will enable the substantial investments required in networks and spectrum. Even more important, this will give Airtel the elbow room to roll-out 5G in India.”

The company said it has always maintained that the mobile Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) needs to be at Rs 200 and ultimately at Rs 300, so as to provide a reasonable return on capital that allows for a financially healthy business model.

This move also paves way for other firms to raise tariff. Most likely cash-strapped Vodafone-Idea could raise its tariff soon.  

After a stellar show in the September quarter (Q2), it was expected that Airtel could raise its tariff of voice and data calls.

News of the tariff hikes have taken the shares of Bharti Airtel to hit a new high of Rs 756, up around 6 per cent on the BSE in intra-day trade on Monday.  

Airtel, Reliance Jio, and Vodafone-Idea are the top three private telecom service providers operating in the Indian market. After the launch of Jio in 2016, all the telcos went out for a tariff war, reducing data and plan rates.


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