Both Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel, are the two telecom operators who are engrossed in the battle of the telecom industry. Burdened with heavy financial dues, Vodafone Idea remains behind in this competition. Now, it is very well known that Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea are fighting for the remaining share of the pie and currently Reliance Jio boasts of having the most number of subscribers in India with a subscriber base going across the 355 million mark. However, Reliance Jio has no plans of stopping before it reaches the figure of 500 million subscribers. Competing head-on with the telecom operator is Bharti Airtel. Now, one of the ways, the telecom operators lure more subscribers to their networks is by giving incentives to the retailers. Especially for the tier II and tier III cities, retailers happen to be the connecting point between telecom operators and the subscribers. As such, in an attempt to aggressively bring subscribers onboard, both Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio have rolled out attractive incentives for the retailers as per a new ET report. Here is what Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio have done.
Incentives for Reliance Jio and Bharti Airtel Retailers
Bharti Airtel has announced new incentives for the retailers, wherein for converting every two Reliance Jio customers into Airtel customers, they will get Rs 100. The thing to note here is that there is no such incentive for Vodafone Idea, which means that for customers who convert from Vodafone Idea to Bharti Airtel, the retailers will not receive any incentive. Also, as per the retailers, Reliance Jio has rolled out a similar incentive for these retailers. The retailers will receive Rs 100 for every Jio SIM card sold as opposed to the previous Rs 40 which these retailers used to receive before for the same thing.
Tariff Hike and Retailer Incentives
As per a Jio distributor, “After the increase in tariffs, followed by Airtel and VIL (Vodafone India Ltd) making their free calls unlimited, these incentives were given to push us to get more customers from them.” It is also worth noting that recently, all the private telecom operators, Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio have increased tariffs by as much as 40%. The tariff hike comes as the result of the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) dues which have been mounted on the telecom operators after the Supreme Court decision on the matter. The telcos are financially burdened under the dues and have hence decided to hike tariffs for their prepaid plans. Jio, however, has said that even after the tariff hike, its plans are 25% cheaper than the competition.
Telecom Industry Under Heavy Financial Pressure
Along with the tariff hike, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea had also started charging for voice calls made to other telecom operators. However, looking at the price difference in the case of Reliance Jio plans, the Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel removed the calling caps on their prepaid plans. Now, the prepaid plans of Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea come with absolutely no calling cap, offering truly unlimited calls to the subscribers. On the other hand, the Reliance Jio plans come with a cap on calls to other telecom operators, with 6 paise per minute charge liable when the user exhausts this cap.
The two private telcos, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, remain under dues of Rs 90,000 crore and above which are to be paid by January 2020. These dues have been made up by the Spectrum Usage Charges, License fees, the interests, penalties and the interests on these penalties.