State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has also announced plans to raise tariff for its mobile plans. The telecom service provider is following in the footsteps of Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio. All the three major service providers have announced plans to raise tariff from December. BSNL has now confirmed that it is reviewing its mobile tariff plans and will raise it from December 2019. In other words, the end of cheap tariff plans as we know it is set to end soon.
The company, like its rivals, has not detailed the hike for its tariff plans just yet. It plans to convey the changes in tariff plans in the coming weeks to its subscribers. “We are presently examining our voice and data tariff and will increase it from December 1, 2019,” a senior BSNL official who does not wish to be named told ET Telecom. To recall, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel announced plans to increase their tariff for mobile plans starting December. On Tuesday, Reliance Jio followed its arch rivals and announced that it will also raise tariffs in the next few weeks.
It should thus not come as a surprise that BSNL is following the three major private service providers. The state-owned telco received a revival package from the Centre in October. The government is looking to merge BSNL and Mahanagar Telephone Nigam Limited (MTNL) into a single entity. The proposed revival package along with tariff hike should aid the struggling telecom operator increase its cash flow. The telecom industry, after battling tariff war started by Reliance Jio for nearly three years, is now looking for sustainability.
In its statement, Reliance Jio said that it would compete on quality against its rivals in the industry. BSNL, however, has been one of the most competitive player in the telecom space. It has gone head-to-head with Jio despite the fact that it does not have 4G license. According to TRAI, BSNL added 7.37 lakh new subscribers in September, bringing its total user base to 11.69 crore. In comparison, Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea combined lost nearly 49 lakh customers.