Opinions

Mobile recharge reminds of petrol and tomato price hike

If data is the petrol of the new age, telecom infrastructure is its pipeline. This is said by Mukesh Ambani, who has brought the telecom revolution in the country. Ever since Jio’s service was launched in India, the problem of call drops and poor connectivity became a thing of the past. If it’s Jio, then quality is bound to be there, no doubt about it. For this reason, almost everyone had to buy a Jio SIM also. If we talk about the two other telecom players, Airtel and Voda-Idea (Vi), their services have not only been expensive, but also poor. And their charges always remained on the higher side.

Voda-Idea, which is heavily indebted, has started cheating its customers in many ways recently. Such is the condition of its signal intensity that either you do not hear the sound, or the caller sadly says that let’s try with another number. In such a pathetic situation, Airtel and now Voda-Idea also, have made their prepaid plans expensive by 25%. The increased rates of both the companies are going to be applicable from November 25. People were already distressed by the rising prices of petrol-diesel and tomatoes etc, now today onwards the prepaid recharge of mobile phones has also been included in this list.

From Wednesday midnight, more than half the mobile subscribers of the country are going to lose at least Rs 500 annually. Airtel and Voda-Idea together account for 58.25% share of the telecom market. Both the companies have increased the prepaid prices by 25%. They had to do it to recover from losses. Jio has a market share of 35.68% and has not announced any increase in its rates yet.

Jio has dominated in the telecom sector since its launch. While Vodafone and Idea had to form an alliance as a strategy, yet their combined deficit became a matter of concern for the government as well. Eventually, the central government announced four years’ relief for telecom companies to repay their dues.

At present, there are 99.56 million active mobile users in the country. Of these, 60% of the users are using the prepaid services. If the per subscriber fee is increased by Rs 10 per month, then the annual revenue of Airtel grows to tune of Rs 3000 crore, the revenue of Voda-Idea grows by Rs 2400 crore and that of Jio by Rs 3700 crore.

We wish all the telecom players to grow, so that there are many options available for the customers. But at the same time, we also expect that loss-making companies should improve the quality of their service if they consider it necessary to increase the price. Voda-Idea adds various value added services (VAS) without asking for, which is totally illegitimate and is like an open loot. Being in loss does not mean that the company starts robbing the common people. We have never experienced such a type of cheating from Jio till date. Rather, after the launch of Jio, everyone became relaxed about the quality telecom services.

By Narvijay Yadav. He can be contacted at [email protected]

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