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Reliance, Vodafone, Idea to increase 2G data tariff?

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Post Bharti Airtel's decision to increase 2G data tariff other telecom service providers are likely to follow suit and increase data price for their 2G postpaid and prepaid customers

NEW DELHI, INDIA: Telecom analysts believe that in an effort to increase margins, telecom services providers such as Vodafone, Reliance Communications and Idea Cellular are likely to follow suit, post Bharti Airtel's decision to increase 2G data tariff, and increase data price for their 2G postpaid and prepaid customers.

"With the availability of feature-rich mobile devices, a segment of consumers is more open to embrace such devices with 2G plans. The semi-urban subscribers are apparently comfortable with 2G data services. However, 2G data services constitute less than 5 per cent of the operators' revenue," said an industry expert.

This move is expected to maintain cash inflows ahead of upcoming 2G spectrum auction in March and government's thrust to affordable nation-wide broadband services.

Last week, Bharti Airtel had increased its 2G data price, applicable on 1GB plan. Earlier, in September, 2012 Reliance Communications too had increased its GSM and CDMA tariff by more than 20 per cent. In line with the Airtel, telcos such as Vodafone and Idea had in past (July 2011) increased pre-paid tariff by close to 20 per cent.

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