Airtel prepaid plans to get more expensive: CEO Gopal Vittal

CEO Gopal Vittal
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CEO Gopal Vittal

Highlights

Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal confirmed that Airtel could raise the price of its prepaid plans again. Due to that, the average revenue per user (ARPU) will be set at Rs 200.

Last year, telecom companies, including Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio, and Airtel, increased the prices of their prepaid plans. Now, in a big blow to subscribers, Airtel is set to increase the cost of its prepaid plans. The news was confirmed by the CEO of the company, Gopal Vittal. He revealed that Airtel is likely to raise the price again in 2022. Due to that, the average revenue per user (ARPU) will be set at Rs 200.

According to the Economic Times report, Airtel is not happy with the telecom regulator's base prices for 5G. "The industry had hoped for a massive reduction in prices; while there has been a reduction, it has not been adequate and is in that sense, disappointing," Vittal said during the earnings call on Wednesday. Last year, the three privately owned telecom operators raised prices for plans by 18 to 25 percent.

Telecom carriers are not happy with TRAI's reverse 5G pricing recommendation. Companies were pushing for 5G reservation prices to be cut by 90 percent.

"My own sense is that we should start seeing some tariff increases during the course of this year. I do believe that the tariffs at that level are still very low. The first port of call is to get to 200 which will require at least one round of tariff increase," Vittal said about the rate increases. Vittal said that customers would be able to absorb the blow. The new price increase would only be a temporary problem. Despite the price hike, Airtel attracted more 4G users (5.24 million) in March. This was more compared to the 3 million subscribers in the previous three month period,

Notably, Airtel was the first to raise prepaid plan prices by 18-25% in November 2021. Vodafone Idea also revised its rates in the same range, while Reliance Jio increased prices by 20% last year. Notably, Reliance Jio has yet to reveal whether it also has plans to raise prices in 2022 if a tariff increase occurs.

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