Vodafone India has increased the monthly rental for its post-paid customers in Delhi circle by Rs 50 citing increase in input cost. The hike in monthly rental to Rs 199 from Rs 149 in Delhi circle is not across the board but only on certain tariff plans. Though Bharti Airtel has not done any similar hike, Idea Cellular had effected some hike in some select tariff plans in certain circles recently.
Mobile companies have so far not increased headline tariffs but continue to remove freebies and discounts to improve their realisation rate. For instance, if average tariff is around 50-60 paise a minute, the realisation is around 40-45 paise for the operators.
Increase in monthly rental makes sense as operators get a fixed sum even if the usage drops.
Telecom companies generally don’t make public announcement about increase in tariffs and put all information in this regard on their respective websites. They generally inform their post-paid customers through SMS about change in rates of services before their next billing cycle starts.
Pre-paid customers, which constitute over 94 % of market, get to know about the rates revision when they go to recharge their mobile phones or through the websites of the respective companies. Tariffs are under forbearance, meaning the operators do not have to seek prior approval from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India but need to inform it within a week of implementing the new tariff. The regulator can intervene if it spots any anomaly in tariffs at any point of time.