Tariff hikes which started as baby steps in Oct and Nov 2012 have now spread wider and are bolder. Wireless Operators have hiked mobile Call Tariffs across the board by reducing Minutes in the Minutes Pack or other benefits like Validity, SMS or Talktime on STD Packs. Airtel and Vodafone have withdrawn the Maximum benefits extended to consumers during the telecom tariff war of 2010-11. Idea Cellular and Reliance Communications have also hiked tariffs thus showing the pressure the companies have on profitability.
The intensity of tariff hikes is continuing for the fifth consecutive month with more withdrawal of discounts. In this note we also highlight instances where operators have hiked tariffs on the same plan / voucher on more than an occasion in the past three to four months. I believe that these hikes are sustainable.
Operators are also repeatedly hiking tariffs on the same / popular vouchers. More importantly, even smaller operators like Tata DoCoMo and Uninor have continued to take tariff hikes thus proving the point that survival is not easy. While there are the usual stray instances of tariff declines, these are comfortably outnumbered by the cases of tariff increases.
A thorough analysis on the mobile call tariff hikes in the recent past makes one believe that the trend for tariffs in India remains firmly upwards.