In a bid to boost its profits that lay almost dormant in the wake of the price war, popular mobile service provider in India, Bharti Airtel reportedly hiked its call rates in a few regions. The hike, amounting to between 20 to 50 per cent will affect users in Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Kerala, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat. Additionally, according to a report in the Times of India, the price hike by Airtel will continue to the rest of the country, too.
Hike for better results..?
It is also being learned that other players in the space, especially its own competitors in the GSM space – Vodafone Essar and Idea Cellular are contemplating the option of hike in call rates, too. The call rates that consumers in India enjoy are largely competitive, and the lowest than anywhere else in the world.
The price war that started a while back, although benefitted the average consumer, did not help the profits, at all. Therefore, service providers like Airtel are being forced to increase the call tariffs. Previously, Airtel calls to any local or STD number in the same network would cost 50 paise per minute; this mode has now seen a 10 paise increase. The same to another operator's number has now seen a 30 paise hike (from 60 paise per minute to 90 paise). The per second billing plan of Airtel, too has undergone revisions – local or STD call from an Airtel number to another Airtel number would now cost the user 1.2 paise per second, instead of the earlier 1 paisa per second. On the other hand, calls to a local or a STD landline number using Airtel will now cost 1.5 paise per second, instead of the earlier 1.2 paise per second.