The telecom operators are indeed trying to do their best with what they have got. The Indian telecom industry wasn’t at a very sweet spot over the last few years (since the time Jio came to the market.) Not making Jio the villain as it is just business at the end of the day. But it has been a long time since the arrival of Jio, and the telcos which survived have adjusted in their own way. Right now, there are only two profitable telecom operators in the country – Jio and Airtel. The third private telco, which is the merged entity of Vodafone India and Idea (now Vodafone Idea Limited), has been struggling to make ends meet since 2018.
Post the announcement of relief measures, the government accepting that it will take up equity in Vi (Vodafone Idea) and multiple tariff hikes since 2019, the telcos are now in a much better state than they were five years back.
The 4G speeds have improved significantly, but the overall QoS (Quality of Service) is still an issue with many customers. Of course, telcos have limited money, and they can’t invest all of it into network expansion. There are a lot more things that they have to spend money on (including statutory dues).
But with another round of tariff hikes in the coming months, we can’t ignore the fact that customers are getting frustrated with bad service. Indian users have definitely been getting access to 4G data at a very affordable rate compared to global standards, but the quality of networks has also been very inconsistent.
Hike Tariffs, But Justify by Delivering Excellent Service
The Indian telecom operators have often been at the receiving end of the stick as they have failed to deliver a world-class 4G experience. While it is a tough job to do that in a country with such big and diverse geography as India, it is not impossible. The telcos are generating billions of dollars or thousands of crores every quarter with the millions of customers they have, and thus they have to justify the tariff hikes by delivering improved and excellent services.
Hopefully, Vi, Jio and Airtel are focusing on retaining users by delivering a better 4G experience in the near future. Especially for a telco such as Vi, which wants to be at the forefront of hiking tariffs but not lead in the department of 4G coverage and availability.