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    Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel to hike mobile data, call charges from December

    Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel to hike mobile data, call charges from December

    Vodafone Idea, Bharti Airtel to hike mobile data, call charges from December
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    By CNBC-TV18  IST (Updated)

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    After reporting historic losses in the second quarter of the fiscal year 2019-20, telecom operators Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have decided to increase mobile phone call and data charges from December. The two companies said they have hiked tariffs for the viability of operations.

    After reporting historic losses in the second quarter of the fiscal year 2019-20, telecom operators Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have decided to increase mobile phone call and data charges from December. The two companies said they have hiked tariffs for the viability of operations.
    The telecom operators, however, did not disclose further details about the tariffs.
    Vodafone Idea currently provides monthly mobile services at starting price of Rs 24 without data and Rs 33 for plans with data service. Airtel's monthly plan starts at Rs 24 onward, while schemes with data begin from Rs 35.
    Last week, Vodafone Idea reported a consolidated net loss of Rs 50,921 crore for Q2FY20—highest ever loss reported by an Indian company. Bharti Airtel posted a quarterly loss of Rs 28,450 crore. The losses stemmed from provisions set aside by the two firms for unpaid government dues after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the government in AGR case.
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    Bharti Airtel said, "The telecom sector is highly capital intensive with fast-changing technology cycles that require continuing investments. It is, therefore, extremely important that the industry remains viable to support the vision of Digital India."
    Vodafone Idea said," The acute financial stress in the telecom sector has been acknowledged by all stakeholders and a high-level Committee of Secretaries (CoS) headed by the Cabinet Secretary is looking into providing appropriate relief."
    The two companies said that they are in discussions with the government and seeking appropriate relief.
    The committee of secretaries (CoS) is mulling setting a minimum price for mobile calls and data, reported CNBC-TV18 on November 15, citing sources. The CoS has sought recommendations from the Department of Telecom (DoT) on setting a minimum charge for all tariffs for telecom players and also assessing the impact it will have on telecom operators.
    Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel said that despite growing demand for services, prices for mobile data are very cheap in India and have been eroding the viability of the sector.
    Bharti Airtel said, "We understand that TRAI is likely to initiate a consultation for bringing rationality in pricing in the Indian mobile sector which has been operating at prices that have been eroding the viability of the sector."
    "Mobile data charges in India are by far the cheapest in the world even as the demand for mobile data services continues to grow rapidly," Vodafone Idea said in a statement on Monday."
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