Telcos kick off rate war on 2G data prices

Written by fe Bureau | Mumbai | Updated: Jun 21 2013, 21:54pm hrs
Telecom companies are fighting it out to keep 2G data prices low in a price war that was triggered by Vodafone India, earlier this week. The latest company to jump in to the bandwagon is Aditya Birla Group company Idea Cellular, which on Thursday said, it has reduced its data tariff by 90%.

On Tuesday, Vodafone India cut 2G prices by 80% for its data customers in three circles. On Wednesday, Indias largest telecom firm Bharti Airtel slashed its data charges by 90% in Punjab and Haryana.

2G data usage contributes about 5% of total revenues for the companies as internet penetration is low in the country, while mobile penetration is way higher. Broadband penetration in India stands at about 1% against the mobile teledensity of 70.85% as of 31 March 2013, according to a report by Trai.

Earlier, Bharti, Vodafone and Idea had raised their data prices by a fourth. The current cuts come at a time when telcos are cutting voice promotional offers and minutes, as they look to bring some price parity in the Indian telecom space.