Indian Telecom operators are going to keep their focus on capturing a larger chunk of the market instead of going all out with the tariff hikes in the short term. Peeyush Vaish, Partner and Telecom Sector Leader, Deloitte India, told PTI that Indian telcos will keep making small tweaks to their prepaid plans but will avoid any major change in tariffs as their sole focus would be on adding more subscribers. Vaish further said that there is a lot of headroom for the telcos to grow in the sector in areas such as 5G and broadband. 5G is definitely going to act as a catalyst for the operators to bring enterprise revenue.
Indian Telecom Operators have Learned Identifying Customers
Vaish said that Indian Telecom operators have learned how to identify customers better. Earlier, telcos used to offer plans with a one-size-fits-all mentality. But that has certainly changed now, and as per Vaish, in the last 6 to 8 months, the operators have started identifying premium as well as non-premium customers.
Vaish said that operators might drop their low-end plans, but there won’t be any big changes made to the tariffs. What he said is actually in line with what the operators are doing. Both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) have dropped their low-end prepaid plans, which used to cost Rs 49, and now the entry-level plan from both the telcos comes for Rs 79. According to Vaish, this won’t affect the telcos’ blended average revenue per user (ARPU) in a big way.
Vaish said Indian Telecom operators would fixate on capturing a bigger market share since the tariffs are bound to change once 5G arrives in India. Thus, at that point in time, a larger market share would definitely help the operators. But this is not a positive note for Vodafone Idea (Vi), which is looking to increase tariffs as it is debt-laden.