Info-tech

RJio to hike mobile tariffs in ‘next few weeks’

Our Bureau Mumbai | Updated on November 19, 2019 Published on November 19, 2019

Earlier on Monday, incumbent operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea said they will increase calling rates from December 1

A day after incumbent telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea announced plans to hike headline tariffs, Reliance Jio Infocomm (RJio) said it is also planning to revise mobile tariffs. The latest telecom entrant, controlled by billionaire Mukesh Ambani, plans to hike tariffs in the “next few weeks”.

However, the company did not specify an exact date or the quantum of hike.

“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 in a manner that does not adversely impact data consumption or growth in digital adoption and sustains investments,” RJio, a subsidiary of Reliance Industries, said in a statement.

ALSO READ: Airtel, Vodafone Idea to hike tariffs to hike tariffs from December 1

“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 in a manner that does not adversely impact data consumption or growth in digital adoption and sustains investments,” it said.

The company also said it understands that TRAI is likely to initiate a consultation process for revision of telecom tariffs.

Predominantly a data player, RJio has been offering voice calls free of charge, while it has been billing only for data usage. However, in October the operator decided to charge Interconnect Usage Charges (IUC) of 6 paise per minute, which in turn, literally withdrawing its free call offer. 

ALSO READ: RJio to charge 6p/min for calls to rival networks

While on-network calls (within RJio’s network) and outgoing calls to landlines were free, off-net calls (call to other mobile operators) came under the IUC purview.

Earlier on Monday, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea – the companies together had posted a second quarter net losses of Rs 73,000 crore - said they will increase tariffs from December. This is the first headline tariff hike by the industry in the last three years.

According to sources, RJio is in the process of doing a self-assessment on the Adjusted Gross Revenue (AGR) it has to pay the exchequer following a Supreme Court order.

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RJio had posted a net profit of Rs 990 crore in the second quarter ended September 30, a 45.4 per cent rise from Rs 681 crore recorded during the same quarter a year ago. The company’s standalone revenue from operations rose 33.7 per cent to Rs 12,354 crore (Rs 9,240 crore).

ALSO READ: RIL Q2 profit up 18.3% at Rs 11,262 crore

Published on November 19, 2019
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