Mobile internet rates in India remain the lowest in the world: Prasad

New Delhi, December 2 () A day after the main mobile phone service providers in India announced an increase in call and data charges, Telecommunications Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said Monday that the rate of Mobile internet in the country remains by far the lowest in the world.

Bharti Airtel Ltd, Vodafone Idea Ltd and Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd announced on Sunday the increase in the cost of subscriptions to their plans from Tuesday.

India's mobile Internet rate per GB remains by far the lowest in the world. The UK-based http://cable.co.uk, which compared mobile data plans worldwide, has indicated it, tweeted Prasad publishing the comparative chart made by The price comparison site in March 2019.

The average price of USD 0.26 for one gigabyte (GB) in India is compared to USD 6.66 in the United Kingdom and USD 12.37 for the same amount of data in the US. In the US, the study, which compared mobile data charges in 230 countries, showed in March 2019, which was published by Prasad on Monday.

The global average is USD 8.53 per 1 GB.

The @narendramodi government inherited the high cost of UPA mobile internet, which was as high as Rs 268.97 per GB in 2014. It is now Rs 11.78 per GB, according to TRAI, said in another tweet.

Bharti Airtel raised the prices of his most expensive plan by up to 41 percent as of December 3, while Reliance Jio increased them by up to 40 percent as of December 6. The increase in Vodafone Idea would also be effective as of December 3.

The mobile phone disaster was the contaminated legacy of UPA scam. We fix it, we expand mobile telephony with consumer satisfaction. We also pledged to make BSNL/MTNL professional and profitable, Prasad said in another tweet.

The increase in rates occurs weeks after the Supreme Court confirmed the government's definition of adjusted gross income (AGR), which is the basis on which the license fees of telecommunications companies and usage charges are paid of the spectrum Bharti Airtel, Vodafone Idea and other telecommunications companies face as much as Rs 1.47 lakh crore in past liabilities after this decision.

Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have announced new effective rates as of December 3, where the main data plans are priced 15-47 percent higher. Both have eliminated their 1 GB plans per day (Rs 399 for 84 days) keeping only the 1.5 GB plan per day for 84 days which is now 30% more expensive at Rs 599 (from 459 before).

However, Vodafone Idea has retained an Rs 379 plan that provides 6 GB data for 84 days.

Jio would increase tariffs by up to 40 percent as of December 6 and also with 300 percent more profit.

While Airtel and Vodafone Idea have increased prices on plans focused on the voice of the lower end of Rs35/Rs65 to Rs49/Rs79, the prices of unlimited 28-day combined plans have increased by 15-30 percent. The price of the most popular unlimited 84-day plan has increased by 30-36 percent.

Following in Jio's footsteps, both Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea have also introduced limits for out-of-network calls as part of their unlimited calling benefits.

According to Credit Suisse, after rate increases, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea's plans have a 20-60 percent premium on Jio's all-inclusive October 2019 plans. We believe that after the rate hikes announced by Jio, the premium is likely to decrease to 10-20 percent for the most popular rate plans. I expected more rate increases in the next 12-18 months. ANZ HRS

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