Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone to increase recharge prices: here’s why

Since Reliance Jio’s entry in the telecom sector 3 years ago, we have seen incumbent players Airtel and Vodafone-Idea wage a tariff war in a bid to match the Mukesh Ambani-promoted firm and retain subscribers. But the time for ultra-low-cost data prices and free calls seems to be coming to an end – Jio raised its tariffs for the first time last month due to IUC charges. Now all four operators – Jio, Airtel, Vodafone-Idea, and BSNL – have announced they will be increasing prices of their prepaid recharges and postpaid plans in December. We look at the reasons behind the upcoming tariff hike.


It is clear that unless the government provides more relief to the incumbent operators, the industry will likely end up becoming a duopoly, with Jio accounting for the lion’s share of the market and BSNL-MTNL joint entity a distant second. Jio, on its part, has opposed any government intervention on the matter and opposed COAI’s call for public-sector assistance for the embattled operators. The onus, now, is on the government…