Reliance Jio has hinted that it too could increase its tariff prices, after both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone-Idea announced that they will be implementing a price increase from December 1 onward. The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) is likely to initiate a consultation process for revision of telecom tariffs, in order to boost viability of the sector.
Jio in a press statement said, ” Like other operators, we will also work with the Government and comply with the regulatory regime to strengthen the industry to benefit Indian consumers and take measures including appropriate increase in tariffs in next few weeks in a manner that does not adversely impact data consumption or growth in digital adoption and sustains investments.”
Unlike Airtel and Vodafone-Idea, who have confirmed a price hike from December 1, Jio has only hinted at one in the next few weeks. Jio also claims that if there is a price hike, it will not let this impact the data consumption.
According to the data provided by Jio, the country currently consumes over 600 crore GB per month. It states that even if the prices increase they will work to ensure that this number does not get decreased.
To recall, both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone-Idea have announced that they will be increasing their tariff prices from December 1. This is the first-ever hike in tariffs seen in the telecom market since 2012. Both Airtel and Vodafone-Idea posted combined losses of Rs 74,000 crore, which highlights the kind of trouble that the telecom industry is facing. Vodafone reported a consolidated loss of Rs 50,922 crore, the highest ever loss posted by any Indian corporate.
Neither of the telecom service providers have revealed the revised prices as of now. It is expected that both will increase prices across the prepaid and postpaid tariffs. Airtel and Vodafone-Idea have made it clear the increase in tariffs is to cover their losses and keep the business viable.
With the entry of Reliance Jio in the market, India’s telecom sector saw price wars with prepaid and postpaid data costs coming down drastically. India currently has the cheapest data cost in the world at under $1 per GB. Most prepaid and postpaid packs now include unlimited calls as well, both for roaming and local, which was not the case earlier. It is unclear if the telecos will reduce some of these benefits.