It has been the time of price hikes - we have seen sharp price increases in consumables like groceries, milk etc. Along with that price of digital services are also increasing - read Internet usage. Latest to join the party is Airtel, with steep price hike announcements of up to 40%. We have been receiving reports that price hikes would be effected from April 17, 2014 for certain plans including the entry level ones. We learned that the plan costing Rs. 250 would cost Rs. 349 from April billing cycle marking 40% hike. At higher levels, the hike is far lesser - plan costing Rs. 850 will cost Rs. 949 (12%). So it is the entry level customer who will be impacted the most - a harsh move! Airtel is also said to increase the minimum speed from existing 256 kbps to 512 kbps.
It may be noted that Airtel's price hike comes on the heels of similar announcement made by national ISP, BSNL a few days ago. BSNL's hike for entry level plan was just 10% (Rs. 250 to Rs. 275). In addition to that, BSNL's hike was only for specific plans and unlimited plans were not affected. While it is unclear as to what is the quantum of hikes by Airtel across plans, it does not appear to be marginal like BSNL's.
Airtel’s statement for the price hike is: "Tariff rationalization is a continuous process and a function of market dynamics. This price revision of our broadband plans is in line with the increasing input costs that have a direct impact on the final prices. We remain committed to provide our customers the best service at all times." - Airtel Spokesperson
So readers, do you feel this high price hike is justified at entry level? Would you start a search for other options? Let us know!