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BSNL follows Jio, Airtel footsteps by raising tariffs from December

State-owned operator Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL) has decided to raise tariffs from December, following its competitors Vodafone, Airtel and Jio’s decision of raising tariffs. The Hike was announced due to the sectoral stress.

“We are presently examining our voice and data tariff and will increase it from December 1, 2019,” a senior BSNL official said.

The government recently gave a green signal to the merger of BSNL with another debt-ridden company MTNL. “The cabinet also approved an attractive VRS package for the employees which has been slightly tweaked from the original Gujarat model. The government will provide a 4G spectrum on an administrative allocation basis. The cabinet has also given an in-principle nod to the merger of BSNL and MTNL and till modalities are in place, MTNL will be a subsidiary of BSNL,” Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a cabinet meeting.

According to the sector regulator, BSNL has added 7.37 lakh new users in September this year taking its total consumer base to 11.69 crores. On the contrary, Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have together lost nearly 49 lakh subscribers during the same month.

The Supreme Court’s judgment on AGR has become the latest trouble for the private telcos. The recent Supreme Court ruling mandating the telecom companies to pay up outstanding to the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) within three months, coupled with the existing cumulative debt of Rs 7.5 lakh crore, has made the authorities strained.

“It will not be a very bad move from the consumer perspective. Since the Jio’s entry in 2016, tariff and industry revenue were down,” Rajiv Sharma, Head of Institutional Equity Research, SBICAP Securities.

It’s time to bid goodbye to cheap data and free voice calls.

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