5G launch in India is just a matter of a few months now. We might get to see live 5G networks in multiple cities of India by the end of 2022. At the same time, one should remember that 4G tariff hikes are nearby too. Back in November 2022, every telco had announced a prepaid tariff hike. This tariff hike for the prepaid plans came after a two year period. However, the telcos aren’t going to wait that long again.
Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) have cleared their intentions of implementing another prepaid tariff hike for 4G plans soon. The thing is, there might not be much difference between the price of 4G and 5G plans in India. The same has been hinted at by many industry people, including Randeep Sekhon, CTO (Chief Technology Officer), Bharti Airtel.
Phones Bills Might Go Up by Close to 50% Compared to 2021
At the end of 2021, a 20%-25% tariff hike was implemented on the prepaid plans. If the price of the services is again increased by the same margin, in a span of just one year, people would be paying close to 50% more for prepaid services than what they used to pay in 2021.
While the investors of the telcos will be happy, the consumers won’t look at it as a positive development. There will be many people for whom basic prepaid plans would become unaffordable. Regardless, a prepaid tariff hike is going to take place.
The more the tariffs go up, the more people should also get better services. After multiple rounds of tariff hikes, it would become clear which telco is more ideal in the eyes of consumers when it comes to quality of service. Because people wouldn’t pay money to a telco that isn’t offering satisfying services.
The telecom sector has been under a lot of stress due to prevailing low tariffs for a long time. Low tariffs decreased the ARPU (average revenue per user) figure of the telcos majorly and put them in a tough position financially. Many telecom companies couldn’t even bear the weight that low tariffs had created and thus went out of business.
Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) is the only telco that hasn’t gone ahead with direct tariff hikes yet. But the state-run telco has been rationalising the benefits of the prepaid plans (indirectly increasing the price of the benefits offered by the plan).