Country's second largest mobile service operator in terms of subscriber base, Vodafone India expects Voice calls and Data services rates to go up every year, because with lower tariff, operators may not be sustainable any longer in the telecom industry.
In an interview to Press Trust of India, Vodafone India's Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Marten Pieters said "We have lower tariffs for 18 years against inflation of 8-9 per cent per year. Now, can you do that forever? No you can't, So the point has come where lowest has been seen, we will have to increase our tariffs every year depending on cost levels."
Marten Pieters also said that going forward 2G data rates and 3G data rates in India will be at same level indicating a further hike in 2G mobile Internet rates by Vodafone and some operators.
As earlier we shared on TelecomTalk, on October 2 and October 3, 2013 Vodafone India, Airtel and Idea Cellular increased 2G mobile Internet (GPRS Packs) rates by 25-30%.
"We started 6-7 times high tariff rate when we opened up 3G network. It is now back to 1.5 to 1.6 times of 2G data rates. It over time will come together. But it can't come over time just by lowering 3G tariff, it needs to also see increase of 2G tariffs. Once it is equal, it doesn't matter to customer anymore. My assumption is that our price increase will always be lower than inflation but you can't of-course forever keep lowering your prices, its impossible, Pieters said.
"India has still the lowest tariffs in the world. I think there is only one country which is coming closer, which is China. The only difference being that in China, there are only three operators, they are very profitable and they invested last year USD 55 billion in telecom infrastructure. We did USD 5 billion, so what's better for the country," Pieters added.