Indian telecom giant Bharti Airtel and international communications company Vodafone have announced a hike in their voice call tariffs. Airtel is expected to raise the tariffs in a phased manner and all circles will not be feeling the pressure at the same time.
The free minutes will be reduced by Airtel by around 10 percent to 25 percent. They have also increased the prices of some call vouchers for pre-paid customers by Rs. 5 to 15. Airtel, in a statement said, “We have been reiterating that increase in prices is inevitable, which is reflected from the fact that despite rising costs, tariffs have been falling over the past 12 quarters”.
However, the company has not given any details about the hike in the tariffs. Meanwhile, even Aditya Birla Group’s Idea Cellular is withdrawing promotional offers on voice calls in some of its circles. The latest news is expected to affect customers, but this might be good news for investors as it would result in better margins for the company.
The net profits for telecom providers in India have been falling for the last 11 quarters, due to the cost increase and the slowdown in customer numbers, resulting in limited revenue growth. Due to the tariff hike, the company’s shares have also taken an upward turn. It remains to be seen where the Indian telecom market will go with these new changes being introduced.