Bharti Airtel unveiled price rises for prepaid plans ranging from 20 per cent to 25 per cent, as the Indian operator moved to boost ARPU to what it considers a sustainable level.
In a statement, Bharti Airtel highlighted a long-standing view ARPU must be at INR200 ($2.69) and ultimately INR300 to provide a reasonable return on capital and allow for a financially healthy business model.
“We also believe that this level of ARPU will enable the substantial investments required in networks and spectrum”, Bharti Airtel wrote, noting the rises will give it “the elbow room” to roll out 5G.
The new tariffs take effect on 26 November. The lowest-cost monthly plan will increase 25 per cent to INR99 for 200MB of data, while the top-end package is set for a 20 per cent increase to INR359 for 2GB a day and unlimited calling.
Data top-ups range from INR58 for 3GB to INR301 for 50G, up about 20 per cent.
ARPU declined 5.6 per cent year-on-year to INR153 in the operator’s fiscal Q2 (the three months to end-September).
A government reform package announced in September provided some immediate relief to operators’ financial troubles through a moratorium on adjusted gross revenue (AGR) and spectrum payments, among other measures.Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back