Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel to raise mobile services rates

Indian telecom giants, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea announced plans to hike mobile phone calls and data tariffs from December 1. The announcement surged their share price,  Airtel shares jumped 5.7 per cent to ₹432 and the Vodafone Idea stock soared 21.2 per cent to ₹5.5.

Neither of the companies mentioned the quantum of the proposed tariff hikes.

However, this would be the first price hike in more than a decade as telecom companies have been suppressing prices in order to remain competitive.

Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea together reported record loss of over $10 billion for the quarter ended September 30 following the Supreme Court ruling upheld a demand by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) and rejected telecom companies’ appeal against the government’s definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR).

The top court allowed the DoT to recover dues worth ₹1.33 lakh crore from telecom companies.

Vodafone Idea’s net loss of ₹50,921.9 crore for the three-month period marked the biggest quarterly loss in India’s corporate history. Bharti Airtel’s net loss came in at ₹23,045 crore.

The DoT and the mobile carriers have been at odds over the definition of AGR. The companies argue that AGR should comprise just revenue accrued from core services, while the DoT says AGR should include all revenues.