When Reliance Jio announced the levy of a charge of 6 paise per minute for non-Jio calls in October, everyone was cursing the company. However, it is now clear that subscribers can no longer enjoy telecom plans at ultra-cheap rates in any network. All the major telecom operators, including Jio, are announcing revised tariff plans that reflect up to 40% hike in charges.
The move to revise tariff plans was started with Vodafone Idea yesterday followed by Airtel. Both the telecom operators had a combined loss of ₹74,000 crores in the September-end quarter following the unfavourable Supreme Court ruling on adjusted gross revenue (AGR). The decision to hike tariffs is an outcome of that.
Airtel hiked tariff rates in the range of 50 paise per day to ₹2.85 per day. Some of its popular bundled plans with unlimited call and 1.5GB to 2GB 4G data per day that were earlier available at a price of ₹169, ₹199, and ₹249 are now offered at a price of ₹248 (for both ₹169 and ₹199) and ₹298, respectively with 28 days validity. Long term pre-paid plans such as ₹998 and ₹1,699 will be available at a price of ₹1,498 and ₹2,398, respectively with 365 days validity. The cheapest pre-paid plan with 2 days validity was offered at the same rate of ₹19 but the data usage has been reduced to 150MB from 200MB.
Airtel revealed that, along with revised tariff plans, it will implement a charge of 6 paise per minute for all calls made from Airtel to other networks beyond the fair-usage-policy (FUP) limit. The new rates will be effective from December 3.