'India's mobile internet rates are still the lowest in the world': the government defends the increase in telecommunication rates

NEW DELHI: One day after telecom companies increased rates by 10% to 45%, the government said Indian mobile phone customers still pay the lowest in the world, while blaming the legacy contaminated by previous Congress scams. He led the UPA government because of the high cost of the internet before and the mobile phone disaster.

The walk was criticized by the Secretary General of Congress Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, who, in a tweet, claimed that the BJP government allowed private operators to increase rates while weakening state-owned telecommunications companies BSNL and MTNL.

Minister of Telecommunications Ravi Shankar Prasad He said data costs in India have been drastically reduced since the Modi government came to power in 2014. The government of Narendra Modi He inherited the high cost of the UPA's 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, the minister said in a series of tweets issued towards the night.

The announcement of the sharp rate increases by Airtel, Vodafone Idea and Reliance Jio has seen concerns in certain quarters that consumer rates will increase dramatically, and customers will now have to pay substantially more for calls and mobile internet.

India's mobile Internet rate per GB remains by far the lowest in the world. Based in the UK cable.co.uk , which compared mobile data plans worldwide, has indicated it, ”said the minister, citing the report that was published earlier this year.

Prasad said the BJP government has worked on a series of initiatives for the telecommunications industry to recover health. “The mobile phone disaster was the contaminated legacy of the UPA scam. We have solved it, expanded mobile telephony with consumer satisfaction. In addition, committed to making BSNL/MTNL professional and profitable.

Telecommunications companies decided to increase rates after a period of three years, as the business of older companies such as Airtel and Vodafone Idea are still at a loss and they face huge slopes towards the government, including fees that arose after 24 October. Judgment of income (AGR) of the Supreme Court.

On Sunday, Airtel and Vodafone Idea, which were severely affected after Jio launched services in September 2016 with highly aggressive plans, announced an increase in rates (only for their prepaid customers) as of December 3, the rise It ranges from 10% to 45%, while making the minimum monthly entry plan expensive, rising from Rs 35 to Rs 49. Reliance Jio said it will increase the rates of its 'all-in-one' plans by 40% as of December 6.

Rate increases will affect voice calls to a large extent, and customers will get limited minutes (under the fair use policy or FUP) when they call customers from other networks. For example, in Vodafone Idea, a charge of Rs 299 for 28 days will give 1000 free minutes in calls to other networks, beyond which 6 paise will be charged per minute. Airtel also said that FUP will apply to all of its unlimited calling plans.

However, voice calls will continue to be completely free when customers call someone on the same network.

While the books of telecommunications companies will benefit from rate increases, the government is also expected to share the profits. Telecommunications companies pay the Department of Telecommunications a portion of their income through the revenue sharing regime, and this will help the government to obtain greater amounts from them.