NEW DELHI: Telecom operators in India are not going to hike their tariff anytime soon, said Cellular Operators Association of India (COAI) director general SP Kochhar on Wednesday.
Kochhar, in an interview with TNIE, said he doesn’t foresee any hike and one can’t hike prices like this.
“They increased the prepaid tariff a few days back, and I don’t think any other hike is coming up soon now. Also, the hike took place after a number of years, I don’t foresee the hike as of now,” informed Kochhar.
In November, all the major Indian telcos — Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea — hiked prepaid tariffs by 20% to 25%.
They said the new plans would improve their average revenue per user (ARPU) and help them deal with the financial stress faced by the industry.
After the tariff hike, Jio’s base 4G prepaid plan is priced at Rs 155 while Airtel and Vi’s base prepaid plan now comes at Rs 179.
But if experts are to be believed, the price rise is imminent as the country will witness the roll out of 5G in 2022.
As per ICRA, Indian mobile operators may resort to another price hike next year as the world’s second-biggest market for telecom services prepares to usher in next generation 5G services.
Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel maintains that the ARPU needs to be Rs 200 and then reach Rs 300. Vodafone Idea has also advocated that tariff hike is essential to the sector’s survival.
Kochhar is of the view that until these operators are pushed to the wall, there is no chance of rise in their tariff.
“I don’t see any logic of raising prices right now unless they are pushed to the wall. Like high spectrum charges by the government,” he said.