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Jio to raise mobile tariffs, joins Airtel and Vodafone Idea

Jio to raise mobile tariffs, joins Airtel and Vodafone Idea
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Highlights

Reliance Jio, the largest telecom operator, followed rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea planning to increase consumer tariffs.

Reliance Jio, the largest telecom operator, followed rivals Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea planning to raise consumer tariffs. The move is needed to make fresh network and technology investments. This will be the first significant tariff surge by the new telecom operator which had interrupted the mobile industry financials through its hostile plans after beginning services in September 2016.

"Like other operators, we will also work with the government and comply with the regulatory regime to strengthen the industry to benefit Indian consumers and take measures, including appropriate increase in tariffs in next few weeks," Reliance said in a statement that came after Airtel and Vodafone Idea announced plans to raise consumer tariffs from next month.

Jio said that the tariff hike would be done "in a manner that does not adversely impact data consumption or growth in digital adoption and sustains investments."

The company plans to compete with rivals based on quality and service in the market. "Jio will always keep the customer at the centre of everything and ensure that the customer continues to benefit the most."

The company aims to work aggressively on shifting 2G customers to a 4G eco-system so that all can retrieve data-driven benefits. "…there are still over 40 crore Indian consumers who have not benefited from the advent of the latest technologies. We believe that the ambitious objectives of the 'Digital India' mission can be achieved only if India is made "2G-mukt" in the shortest time-frame possible… This requires continued investment at an industry level."

Vodafone Idea and Airtel said that they would raise tariffs because of their extraordinary losses and hefty government dues and rising debt.

Vodafone Idea and Airtel reported record losses in the just ended July-September 2019-20 quarter, said that the increase in tariffs would help them "remain viable" while giving them elbow room to invest for network and technology expansion.

"The telecom sector is highly capital intensive with fast-changing technology cycles that require continuing investments. It is, therefore, essential that the industry remains viable to support the vision of Digital India," Airtel said in a statement as it made a case for increased consumer tariffs. "Accordingly, Airtel will appropriately increase price offerings in the month beginning December."

Vodafone Idea, declared a record quarterly loss of nearly Rs 51,000 crore, said that there is "acute financial stress" in the telecom sector which has also been accredited by all stakeholders.

"To ensure that customers continue to enjoy world-class digital experiences, Vodafone Idea will suitably increase the prices of its tariffs effective December 1," said Reliance.

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