Airtel’s Data Plans Set for Price Hike: Prepare for Increased Costs

With the Lok Sabha elections looming in India, one of the world’s largest democratic nations, telecom giants are gearing up to hike data plan prices.

Market analysts project a significant increase in data plan costs post the elections, estimating a surge of 15 to 17 percent.

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Airtel, one of India’s leading telecom providers, is poised to implement tariff hikes across all its plans, potentially pushing the price of the Rs 198 plan up to Rs 232.

Previous Tariff Hike in 2021

The last tariff hike occurred in December 2021, amounting to a substantial 20 percent increase.

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Analysts predict that Bharti Airtel’s Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) will soar from the current Rs 208 to Rs 286 by the end of FY27.

This tariff adjustment is aimed at transitioning users from 2G to 4G and eventually to 5G networks. However, no official announcement has been made by telecom companies regarding the tariff hike.

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Airtel and Jio: Market Dynamics

Since its inception in 2016, Jio has significantly influenced the telecom landscape. The company implemented a tariff hike of 20-40% in December 2019, followed by another 20% increase in December 2021.

Bharti Airtel aims to lead the tariff hike to elevate its ARPU to over Rs 260 by FY26. Analysts foresee a 15% tariff growth across all telecom operators, with Airtel and Jio expected to dominate 85% of the market in the medium term.

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Over the past five years, Bharti Airtel and Jio have consolidated their positions in the market, while VI has experienced a decline in market share from 37.2% in September 2018 to 19.3% in December 2023.

During the same period, Airtel’s market share has increased from 29.4% to 33.0%, with Jio emerging as the frontrunner, soaring from 21.6% to 39.7%.



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