Telecom tariff prices in India are the cheapest across the globe. Even after the tariff hike that happened in December 2019, consumers are getting 1GB of data for less than Rs 5 in the country. The rise of Reliance Jio happened only to the fact that it offered the cheapest 4G tariff plans. Over the last few weeks, we saw Vodafone Idea’s thought of raising tariffs once again so that it can sustain in the market. Now, Sunil Mittal of Bharti Airtel also highlighted that the telecom tariff hike is very much required in India because the current rates are ‘unsustainable.’ Amongst the private telecom operators, Airtel has the highest ARPU sitting at Rs 162 followed by Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea. However, Airtel is looking to increase its Average Revenue per User (ARPU) even further to bring back some stability. But Mittal also admitted that Airtel would not move ahead with tariff hike without the industry or the regulator moving.
Sunil Mittal says the tariff hike should happen, however, he also believes that Airtel cannot move ahead. “…current tariffs are unsustainable but Airtel cannot move without the industry moving or the regulator moving.” Furthermore, he added that the country’ second-largest telecom operator would watch the market conditions for hiking the tariff prices.
In December 2019, Airtel hiked the tariff prices right after Vodafone Idea and it was also followed by Reliance Jio. It is said that the Trai is currently in the process of setting a floor price for the telecom industry after which we will see the tariff prices going up.
This industry needs tonnes of money, it is a high capital-intensive industry…buying spectrum, putting out networks, fibre, radio, towers…this is a continuously investing industry,” Mittal said further, according to PTI.
Just a couple of days ago, we reported that Bharti Airtel had started refarming the 2G spectrum for 4G. Mittal said that the company would eventually move 2G customers to 4G and also reiterated the fact that Airtel already closed its 3G services across the country.
Talking about 5G services availability in India, Mittal added that the current 5G spectrum prices are not affordable and he also believes India has ample time for its 5G road map.