New Delhi: Telecom major Airtel has increased mobile services rates of both internet and calls under certain schemes, giving an indication of next round of tariff hikes in the industry.
“There has been change in Airtel services rates from April 3 onwards. Airtel has reduced validity of Rs 125 mobile internet pack from 28 to 21 days,” a mobile dealer in Delhi NCR told PTI.
The Airtel's website showed similar rates but it nowhere mentioned the date from which new tariff is applicable.
The Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, which monitors mobile tariff at present, does not inform consumers about increase in mobile rates by service providers.
A coupon retailer said that Airtel has also reduced benefit on recharge that reduce call rates.
“The change is in Rs 46 recharge voucher which is used to bring down call rates. Earlier it reduced STD and local call rates to 45 paisa per minute now it will be 50 paisa per minute.
There are lot many changes in such vouchers,” the retailer, who did not wished to be named, said.
Other major operators Vodafone and Idea Cellular have reduced validity of voucher from 30 days to 24 days.
Airtel has moved benefits of reducing calls under mobile recharge of Rs 38 to Rs 48.
“Earlier recharge of Rs 38 brought down STD call rates to 40 paisa per minute but now customers will have to pay Rs 48 for same. Now Rs 38 recharge will reduce STD call rates to 45 paisa per minute,” the retailer said.
Airtel said: “There is no change in headline tariffs. Reduction of discounts and promotional offers is a part of our ongoing strategy.”
Vodafone India spokesperson also made similar remark. “There is absolutely no change in the base tariffs. Promotion packs change from time to time for segment periodically as part of continuously refreshing the promotion pack portfolio.”
Idea Cellular said company's tariffs differ from circle to circle and are based on local competitive activities in the market and there is no common change across the country.
Airtel dominates Indian mobile phone services market with over 22 per cent share. It has over 20 crore subscribers.
In the last couple of years, mobile companies have increased their services rates in about a fortnight or month after change in rates of their competitors.
The trio — Airtel, Vodafone and Idea — jointly cover more than half of the Indian mobile market.