Seems the reputed telecom companies are bouncing back to recover their declining positions.
Unlike their competitive strategies, Airtel, Voda Idea and Jio have adopted a common strategy this time, the ‘price hike’.
The three telecos have announced their hikes in the range of 40-50%, with Airtel calling for 42% hike, Voda Idea by 50% and Jio by 40%. And, the implementation will be done in the first week of December 2019.
Voda Idea was the first to announce price hike, followed by the other two.
“Airtel’s new plans, represent tariff increases in the range of a mere 50 paise per day to Rs 2.85 per day and offer generous data and calling benefits,” the company said in a statement.
Meanwhile, Reliance Jio announced about hikes in its ‘All-in-one’ plans, to be effective from December 06, 2019.
While the Airtel and Voda Idea have disclosed their new tariffs, Jio is yet to make the tariffs public. The company informed that the hikes will be in the range of 40% but has 300% more benefits.
Jio hints the new tariffs will adopt a Fair Use Policy (FUP) giving some relief to users calling to their friends and family on different networks.
“Although, the new All-in-One plans will be priced up to 40% higher, staying true to its promise of being customer first, Jio customers will get up to 300% more benefits,” Jio said in a statement.
Jio assured the hikes will not have adverse impacts on data services or growing digital adaption among the user base.
Discussion of ‘Telecos Due’ Continue
On the other hand, the three telecom rivals are continuing on a serious debate at the Supreme Court (SC).
While the SC had directed Airtel and Voda Idea to pay Rs. 1.47 lakh crore in past statutory dues, the industry bodies CII and FICCI have requested the Central Finance Minister to give some relief to those telecos.
Meanwhile, Jio has been strongly opposing the bailout of these two telecos and has said they have financial capacity to pay dues.
The two telecoms are reportedly facing dues totalling Rs. 7 lakh crore.
The industry bodies have reportedly written to Sitharaman to give them relief and encourage robust competition in the sector.
“The precarious financial health of key players in this sector and their massive debt burden (estimated to be Rs 7 lakh crores), threaten not only their individual existence but also the much-needed vibrancy in this sector of national importance,” CII president Vikram Kirloskar said in a statement.
Now, Airtel and Voda Idea are brainstorming on filing petitions for a discussion on SC’s Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR). SC had ordered the two to pay their AGRs, Rs 43,000 crore for Airtel and Rs 40,000 crore for Vodafone Idea, by January 24, 2019.
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