Jio recharge prices will be increased too after Airtel, Vodafone raise tariffs

20 Novembre, 2019, 10:26 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Airtel Vodafone Idea shares jump on price hikes announcement

A day later Reliance Jio, which had disrupted the mobile phone services market by introducing predatory pricing, said it will follow suit in the next few weeks.

After introducing an interconnect usage charge (IUC) last month, the Mukesh Ambani-led company has reportedly now chose to hike its tariffs for both its phone call and internet services.

Vodafone Idea gained 34.68 percent to close at Rs 6.02 on the BSE, on top of 21.5 percent rally in the previous session. Neither of the companies mentioned the quantum of the proposed tariff hikes.

While Airtel said that, "The telecom sector is highly capital intensive with fast-changing technology cycles that require continuing investments".

Vodafone Idea now provides monthly mobile services at starting price of Rs 24 without data and Rs 33 for plans with data service.

The ongoing telecom crisis is set to hit the customers hard with two of the country's largest telcos - Bharti Airtel and Vodafone - deciding to hike tariffs from December 1 after they posted historic losses on account of provisioning for the AGR pending dues. From a dozen in March 2016, the number of players in the industry has dwindled to mere five - Reliance Jio, Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel, BSNL and MTNL.

Meanwhile, Jio added 69.83 lakh new users to its network in September this year while Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel lost over 49 lakh users, according to TRAI data.

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The firms posted huge quarterly losses because of an adverse Supreme Court judgement last month that upheld the Centre's broader definition of revenue, based on which it calculates levies on telecom operators.

Vodafone Idea has over 300 million customers in India.

"The acute financial stress in the telecom sector has been acknowledged by all stakeholders and a high level Committee of Secretaries headed by the Cabinet Secretary is looking into providing appropriate relief". Airtel's monthly plan starts at Rs 24 onward, while schemes with data begin from Rs 35. The telco listed several commitments to support the objectives of "Digital India".

According to a Live Mint report, telecom prices in India are now the cheapest in the world.

Jio said that it will work with the government to ensure that the telecom industry continues benefitting Indian consumers and it will stay compliant with regulations.

For Bharti, the above calculation on a consolidated basis could mean 25 percent estimated jump in EBIDTA estimates which for free cash flow (FCF) positive company should further aid valuations, Motilal Oswal said.

While having equalweight rating on the stock, Morgan Stanley raised target price on Bharti Airtel to Rs 410 from Rs 360 as company is well positioned in the sector both from a leverage & strategy perspective.

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