Airtel hiked prices of its basic prepaid plans last year on a trial basis in two states including Odisha and Haryana. Now, Airtel has announced another hike in price of its prepaid plans in seven new circles, including Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Himachal Pradesh, Karnataka, Northeast, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh (West).
The telco announced that it has scrapped the minimum Rs 99 Prepaid plan recharge which has now been replaced with Rs 155 plan. This 57 per cent increase in Airtel’s entry-level plan comes two months after the operator trashed its Rs 99 plan in Haryana and Odisha in November last year.
The old Rs 99 plan accounted for 7-8 per cent of the overall mobile revenue of Airtel. Overall, Airtel has approximately 38% market share in nine of these circles. Out of the total 91 million subscribers in Bihar, Airtel has 39.5 million subscribers.
There are a total of 448.2 million subscribers in these 9 circles with 170 million of these being on Airtel’s network, thereby accounting for nearly 38% market share. In general, Airtel has 46.6% of its total pan-India subscribers emerging out of these 9 circles.
It offered 200MB data and calls at the rate of Rs 2.5 paise per second. However, the new plan now comes with unlimited calling. “In line with our focus on providing a better customer experience, we have discontinued the metered tariff and introduced an entry-level plan of Rs 155 with unlimited voice calls, 1 GB of data, and 300 SMS. Customers can now use this plan with no constraints”, said an Airtel spokesperson.
For those unaware, the new price hike comes as a part of telco’s efforts to increase its average revenue per user (ARPU) since 2021 when Airtel last hiked tariffs before the introduction of 5G. In Q2 of 2022-23, Airtel’s ARPU grew over 24 per cent year-on-year to an industry high of Rs 190.