Idea Cellular has increased the mobile data rates of its prepaid customers in Delhi and NCR by over 18 percent starting from June 3. According to reports, the company also plans to hike its date rates in 5-6 circles across India in the next few days.
Idea has increased 3G data tariffs by over 18 percent and 2G tariffs by 11 percent. The company has already made changes in most of the recharges and vouchers for 2G and 3G services. A customer care representative from the company stated that the price of 1GB pack of 3G with a validity of 28 days has been increased from Rs 249 earlier to Rs. 295 now. A 2G connection with 1 GB pack is now available for Rs. 195 with 28 days validity as against Rs. 175 earlier. Idea is the first telecom operator to have increased data tariffs after the March spectrum auctions. The company secured spectrum in all the nine telecom circles (which account for 69 percent of its revenues) that came up for renewal. It paid over Rs. 7,000 crores of the overall outgo of more than Rs. 30,000 crores. After the March spectrum auction, industry analysts had stated that there would be hike in tariffs as operators have to shell out over Rs.1,09,874 crores to the government.
Idea, along with Vodafone and Airtel had to decrease call and SMS rates on National roaming from May 1, after regulator TRAI cut ceiling tariffs. Idea which is the third biggest telecom operator in India reduced its messaging rates to 25 paise for a local SMS and 38 paise for texting while roaming nationally. Incoming calling rates have been reduced to 45p/min, and outgoing local call rates have been slashed by 20 per cent. Industry analysts state that although the new charges will benefit the customer, but these will hurt the profit margins of telecom operators who spent over Rs.1.1 trillion in the recent spectrum auction. “These ceiling tariffs are good for the consumer but will hurt the profitability of telcos given the high price they have had to pay for spectrum,” said Hemant Joshi, partner, Deloitte Haskins & Sells LLp.