On November 29, Reliance Jio announced an increase of 19.6 to 21.3 percent in its prepaid tariffs starting December 1. The tariff hike is expected to impact the JioPhone plan, unlimited plans and data add-ons. Customers can opt for Jio for the new unlimited plans from existing touchpoints and channels.
The latest announcement comes days after Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea implemented a tariff hike of 25 percent in their prepaid plans last week, marking the end of the low tariff scheme in the telecom sector. However, the recent price hike by Jio is still lower than that of Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel, continuing to lead its competitors in the industry.
Reliance Jio said in a statement, “In line with its commitment to further strengthen a sustainable telecom industry, where every Indian is empowered with a true digital life, Jio today announced its new unlimited plans. These plans will provide the best value in the industry.” It further added, “Upholding the Jio promise of providing the best quality service at the lowest price globally, Jio customers will continue to be the biggest beneficiaries.”
Bharti Airtel was the first to announce its price hike on November 22. Following this, Airtel shares rose as investors believe that the tariff hike will help strengthen the company’s financials. This is expected to help Bharti Airtel raise the funds needed for investments in telecom networks and spectrum, especially to roll out 5G services. A similar increase in shares was noticed where Monday’s early deals of Reliance Industries (RIL) were trading more than 2 percent higher after the Mukesh Ambani-led group’s telecom subsidiary Jio announced a price hike.
Despite a loss of net 1.90 crore users, Jio still holds maximum mobile subscribers of 42.48 crores as of September compared to its rivals Airtel and Vodafone. Reliance Jio Infocomm President Kiran Thomas, at the company’s September quarter results said that the pandemic has been quite tough on a lot of people in India, especially at the bottom of the pyramid.
“During the peak of the second wave, we had done a lot of initiatives… giving free voice minutes to keep them on our network… to keep lifeline alive. But, two quarters later, we find that a large number of people at the bottom of the pyramid have not been able to stay up-to-date with recharges,” said Thomas.