Consumers to benefit as data price war rages between telecom players

BSNL adopts aggressive pricing policy to take on Reliance Jio; mobile data prices to come down further, say experts.

Published: 18th March 2017 03:54 AM  |   Last Updated: 18th March 2017 11:20 AM   |  A+A-

File Image for Representational Purposes.

By Express News Service

BENGALURU: Consumers can expect better service at cheaper rates with telecom majors gearing up to wage a price war to protect their market share in mobile data services.

On Friday, Bharat Sanchar Nigam (BSNL) introduced a special promotional offer giving away unlimited calls at Rs 339 plus unlimited data with fair use policy of 2GB per day with 28 days’ validity. BSNL’s move is in response to RJio’s aggressive pricing policy.

Meanwhile, telecom operator Idea Cellular has said it will also start selling 1GB and above mobile data plans across its 2G, 3G and 4G networks all at the same price by the end of this month. “Idea will allow open market data recharges of 1GB and above to work on Idea’s 2G, 3G or 4G network without any differential prices and this will be rolled out nationally by March 31, 2017,” a company statement said.

Prices are likely to come down further, according to Tapan K Patra, director, Association of Competitive Telecom Operators. 

“Data consumption has increased in India significantly. The rates that are being charged will fall further,” he said.

In a recent judgment, the Madras High Court had upheld the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai)’s power to regulate cable landing station access facilitation charge (CLS-AFA).

The industry is set to witness impressive growth in broadband connectivity, briding  the digital divide, providing further fillip to the information technology /business process outsourcing and enterprise data services sector, which will help achieve the vision as laid out in the prestigious Government of India programmes, Patra added.

According to insights on the sector available with India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF), India is currently the second largest telecommunication market and has the third highest number of internet users in the world.

“International Data Corporation predicts India to overtake the US as the second largest smartphone market globally by 2017 and to maintain high growth rate over the next few years as people switch to smartphones and gradually upgrade to 4G,” IBEF stated.


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