Bharti Airtel is one of the top choices of the subscribers in the telecom industry right now. A lot of people prefer Bharti Airtel over other operators given the quality of the network, the services they enjoy and all the benefits which come with having an Airtel connection. This means that the Airtel SIM sits in the primary SIM card slot of a lot of subscribers. But, this also means that a lot of customers might be recharging their SIM with Airtel Smart recharges or the minimum recharge plans to simplu. The minimum recharge plans currently start at Rs 23 for 28 days validity. These plans simply make sure that you continue to enjoy incoming services and that your number stays active enough so that you can receive voice calls, receive SMS and more. But, as per a new announcement by Airtel the amount of minimum recharge that the users do might become twice as much. If you recall the minimum recharge portfolio of Airtel, some of the popular ones are the Rs 23 recharge, Rs 45 recharge and more. The latter is going to be the norm from now on, instead of the Rs 23 one.
Airtel Subscribers to Spend a Minimum of Rs 45 Per Month
Bharti Airtel has issued a public notice in one of the major newspapers where it has noted that the SUK base plan is being discontinued and new customers shall be on a base tariff plan of 2.5p/sec for all Local and STD voice calls, 5p/sec for National Video calls, 50p/MB for data, Re 1 for per local SMS, Rs 1.5 for per STD SMS and Rs 5 per international message. Further, Airtel has mandated that now for the subscribers it is necessary to recharge with a plan of Rs 45 which will extend the validity of their number for them with the respective validity of the plan. In the case of non-recharge, there will be a grace period of 15 days for the subscribers, after the exhaustion of which the services will be suspended for the subscribers.
To recall, some of the Airtel subscribers have already noted on Twitter that they are being charged for video calls separately. This means that the new tariff change has come into effect and the subscribers who are not recharging their prepaid numbers are going to be the one affected the most. Before this, to simply maintain an Airtel number you would have to spend Rs 23 per month, but now the amount has come up to be Rs 45 for every 28 days. This essentially increases the amount by double required to maintain an Airtel prepaid number.
Airtel ARPU Likely to Benefit
It is worth noting that last year at the same time, Airtel had introduced minimum recharge plans as an attempt to increase the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU). The move has definitely paid off greatly for Airtel as it has seen a rise in the ARPU. This small hike which takes the base tariff for Airtel recharged further upwards is going to help the company in pushing the ARPU forward as well.
Floor Pricing in Telecom Industry
On a similar note, a few days back Bharti Airtel Chairman, Sunil Bharti Mittal in a meeting with one of the cabinet ministers had discussed the plan for floor pricing in the industry. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) is also rolling out a consultation paper on the matter, meaning that there could be another small tariff hike right around the corner for the subscribers. This new move by Airtel by increasing the minimum recharge plan to Rs 45 seems to be the first move in this direction.