In a first mobile tariff hike in past four years, telecom operator Vodafone Idea on Sunday announced new plans under which call and data charges will be dearer for its pre-paid customers by up to 42 per cent from December 3. Besides this, Vodafone Idea will also charge 6 paise per minute for every outgoing call made by customers on to the network of other operators.
“Vodafone Idea Limited (VIL), India’s leading telecom service provider, today announced new tariffs/plans for its prepaid products and services. New plans will be available across India starting 00:00 hours of 3 December 2019,” the company said in a statement.
The company has announced new plans in ‘unlimited’ category with 2 days, 28 days, 84 days, 365 days validity which on the back of the envelope calculations show are costlier by up to 41.2 per cent.
Vodafone Idea has only revised rates of plan promising unlimited mobile and data services and also introduced some new plans.
A company official explained all the existing plans in unlimited category will be replaced by the new plans from December 3 and new plans will be introduced or revised based on market response.
Though the company classifies a set of plans in ‘unlimited’ category, these actually come with usage limit for data at a promised speed and 100 SMS per day limit.
The highest rate of increase of 41.2 per cent has been announced by the company in annual unlimited category plan which will cost Rs 2,399 instead of 1,699 at present.
The starting plan with data offering of 1.5 Gb per day with 84 days validity in “unlimited” category will cost around 31 per cent more at Rs 599 compared to Rs 458 at present.
The company will raise the price of Rs 199 unlimited plan, which offers 1.5 Gb data per day, by about 25 per cent to Rs 249.
Vodafone Idea which is reeling under massive debt of around Rs 1.17 lakh crore had earlier cited acute financial stress on the company behind the decision to raise mobile call and data charges.
Vodafone Idea last month reported a consolidated loss of Rs 50,921 crore—the highest ever loss posted by any Indian corporate—for the September quarter on account of liability arising out of the Supreme Court’s order in the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) case.
The company has estimated liability of Rs 44,150 crore post the apex court order, and made provisioning of Rs 25,680 crore in the second quarter this fiscal.