Back in December 2019, Vodafone Idea (Vi) was the first telecom operator to raise prepaid tariff prices which was followed by Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio as well. A new Livemint report now states that Vi will not ‘shy away’ from raising tariff prices again first ahead of the top two telcos. After the post-earnings call, Ravinder Takkar, the CEO of the company, opined that the ‘current price levels are unsustainable.’ If we look at the top three telcos, Vodafone Idea has the lowest ARPU at Rs 119, however, it saw a decent increase from Rs 107 a year ago. Airtel is currently leading the chart on the ARPU front.
Industry Should Have Rs 300 ARPU: Vi CEO
Thanks to the tariff hike nearly a year ago, telcos saw some relief on the financial front. Reliance Jio is now the leading telco with over 400 million users and the telco continues its focus on aggressive subscriber addition. On the flip side, Bharti Airtel is focussing on increasing ARPU and generating revenue. It seems like Vi will also employ the same strategy as Airtel.
“If you look at the current pricing, there is something wrong with it…We have said before that we would not shy away from hiking prices and we will be happy to be the first one to do so. We hope others in the industry will follow,” Takkar said.
He also added the industry should look at Rs 300 ARPU in the long run. Alongside Vodafone Idea CEO, Bharti Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal, also stated that the “industry cannot continue to function at the current prices for voice and data services.”
At the moment, there’s no timeline on when both Airtel and Vodafone Idea will raise the tariffs. Since we last saw the tariff hike a year ago, the next one could be right around the corner. In addition to that, the Trai could soon set a floor price for voice and data in the country. Again, there’s no timeline for the same from either Trai or telecom operators, but setting the floor price is on the priority list, according to various reports.
Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.