Few days back Bharti Airtel CEO (India and South Asia) Sanjay Kapoor spoke up for the tariff hike and hinted for further tariff hike to make telecom industry sustainable. The tariff will go up following the spectrum auction.
If you forget Idea already hiked tariff to 2 paisa per second i.e. Rs 1.20 per minute as a second round of tariff hike. Even if the spectrum is refarmed and auctioned at higher price the tariff for voice calls will not go more than Rs 2 per minute.
According to our exclusive sources, in next few days, Govt operator MTNL which operators in Mumbai and Delhi may increase its prepaid mobile tariff which is currently cheapest in GSM/3G market. MTNL's current tariff for Voice and Video calls is Half Paisa/ Second on its own network and 1p/Sec on other network calls.
Rock bottom tariffs are of yesterdays, as each and every operator have hiked their tariffs directly or indirectly. But even if the tariff goes to Rs 2/min it is obvious that operators will not withdraw the rate-cutters/power packs which offers call rate at a very low rate, for eg 30p/minute.
Trends in Revising the tariffs:
1. Default tariff is hiked from 1p/sec to 1.5p/sec, even upto 2p/sec. On minute pulse it would be Rs 1.5/minute.
2. Subscribers are pushed to use Rate Cutters which can offer onnet calls at dirt cheap rate, and offnet calls at as low as 30p/minute. Now as customers are habituated to call at low rate, almost everyone will use these rate cutters.
3. Minutes pack - these packs do not change the default tariff but they offers x minutes of local/STD voice calls for Rs y. Now often these packs offer call rates at a cheap rate (even less than 30paisa per minute). Operators are pushing these packs - if total free usage is not used the average revenue per minute will increase.
4. New players like Uninor (brand name will be changed), MTS and other players like Aircel, Tata Docomo, Reliance and Idea (in selected circles) will offer onnet calling at a very cheap rate to attract customers and thus the traffic in their network will be increased.
5. 2G GPRS Packs get less bundled use: Every operators did this. BSNL cuts usage from 2GB to 1.25GB on STV98, Uninor cuts usage from 6GB to 3GB on STV90, Tata Docomo cuts from 6GB to 4GB on STV98 (previuosly STV95), Airtel-Vodafone-Idea offers 1GB at STV98. Even Aircel withdraws unlimited pocket internet packs.
6. 3G operators will take a strategy like this - GPRS Packs are to provide bad speed or capped usage to push 3G uptake. With capped speed customers will get irritated with 2G and at a point they will move to 3G. Airtel, Vodafone and Idea - these trio already offers 2G at 1GB/Rs98 while 3G comes at 1GB/Rs250. So the difference between 2G and 3G data tariff is reduced by hiking 2G data tariff.
7. VAS incl SMS, CRBT and others will not see a major changes on their prices.