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Your mobile bills set to get costlier as unlimited free-calling across networks ends

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New Delhi, Dec 01: Your mobile bills are set to get costlier as private sector players - Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio - on Sunday announced their plans to raise tariffs from December 3 onwards.

Representational Image

This is the first hike in last five years in the country's telecom space that was facing bruising tariff war, with voice calls becoming almost free and data prices fell by 95 per cent to Rs 11.78 per GB from Rs 269 per GB in 2014.

Vodafone

Vodafone

Vodafone Idea was first to announce "new tariffs/plans for its prepaid products and services. New plans will be available across India starting 00:00 hours of 3 December 2019".

Vodafone Idea announced maximum increase of 50 per cent in its entry level unlimited plan with a year-long validity of Rs 1,499 with 24 GB data usage limit in place of Rs 999 plan, which comes with 12 GB data usage limit.

From December 3, customers of these two companies will have to shell out a minimum of Rs 49 to make calls, access the internet on mobile and stay connected for four weeks.

Airtel

Airtel

Bharti Airtel followed Vodafone Idea by announcing similar plans to raise mobile pre-paid services rates.

'Bharti Airtel today announced its revised tariff plans for its mobile customers. These tariffs will be applicable from Tuesday, December 3, 2019,' the company said in a statement.

The company too announced new plans which will cost up to 42 per cent more compared to the price that Airtel pre-paid customers pay at present for plans in the 'unlimited' category.

'Airtel's new plans, represent tariff increases in the range of a mere 50 paise per day to Rs 2.85 per day and offer generous data and calling benefits,' the statement said.

In addition, Airtel said that it will provide exclusive benefits as part of the Airtel Thanks platform, which enables access to premium content from Airtel Xstream -- comprising 10,000 movies, exclusive shows, and 400 TV channels, Wynk Music, device protection, anti-virus protection and much more.

Reliance Jio

Reliance Jio

Reliance Jio also announced with plans to raise mobile services rates from December 6 onwards.

"The new plans will be effective from December 6, 2019. Although, the new All-In-One plans will be priced up to 40 per cent higher, staying true to its promise of being customer-first, Jio customers will get up to 300 per cent more benefits," Jio said.

While telecom operators have been offering unlimited voice calling, both Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have now decided to cap the outgoing calls outside their network from December 3.

Both the companies have capped outgoing calls to network of other telecom operator to 1,000 minutes in case of plans with 28 days validity, 3,000 in 84 days validity plans and 12,000 in 365 days validity plans. Beyond this limit, customer will need to pay 6 paisa per minute for outgoing calls.

Jio has said that that company's new "plans will have a fair usage policy for calls to other mobile networks".

Why tariff rise now?

Why tariff rise now?

Telecom companies' move to raise mobile tariff follows the Supreme Court judgement, on October 24 this year, upholding the government's method of calculating revenue share that it should get from earnings of service providers.

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.

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.

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.

Bharti Airtel has posted a staggering Rs 23,045 crore net loss for the second quarter ended September 30, due to provisioning of Rs 28,450 crore in the aftermath of the SC ruling on statutory dues.

with PTI inputs

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