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Last Updated : Dec 01, 2019 11:13 PM IST | Source:

'Free doesn't mean free': Vodafone Idea to charge 6 paise per minute on calls to other networks

Vodafone Idea has also announced new plans for prepaid product and services with two days, 28 days, 84 days and 365-day validity

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Telecom operator Vodafone Idea December 1 said it will charge 6 paise per minute for every outgoing call made by customers to the network of other operators. This is after Vodafone Idea mocked Reliance Jio for a similar charge it had introduced in October this year to recover the interconnect usage charge.

IUC charges are set by the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). This is currently fixed at 6 paise per minute.

In response to Jio's introduction of IUC, Vodafone Idea had tweeted that on its network 'free means free' on unlimited plans.

Independent analysis suggests that after the said offnet mobile charges by Vodafone Idea, Reliance Jio tariffs will still be roughly over 25 percent cheaper.

The plans

The telecom company has also announced new plans in the 'unlimited' category with two days, 28 days, 84 days and 365 days validity. These will be effective from December 3.

Vodafone Idea has only revised rates of plan promising unlimited mobile and data services and also introduced some new plans.

A company official explained all the existing plans in the unlimited category will be replaced by the new plans from December 3 and new plans will be introduced or revised based on market response.

Even though the company classifies a set of plans in the 'unlimited' category, these actually come with usage limits for data at a promised speed and 100 SMS per day limit.

The highest rate of increase of 41.2 percent has been announced by the company in an annual unlimited category plan which will cost Rs 2,399 instead of Rs 1,699 at present.

The starting plan with a data offering of 1.5 GB per day with 84 days validity in the 'unlimited' category will cost around 31 percent more at Rs 599 compared to Rs 458 at present.

The company will raise the price of Rs 199 unlimited plan, which offers 1.5 GB data per day, by about 25 percent to Rs 249.

Financial stress cited

Vodafone Idea which is reeling under a massive debt of around Rs 1.17 lakh crore had earlier cited acute financial stress on the company behind the decision to raise mobile call and data charges.

The company had last month reported a consolidated loss of Rs 50,921 crore -- the highest ever loss posted by any Indian corporate -- for the September quarter on account of liability arising out of the Supreme Court's order in the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) case.

The company has estimated liability of Rs 44,150 crore post the apex court order and made provisioning of Rs 25,680 crore in the second quarter this fiscal.

(With inputs from PTI)

Disclaimer: “Reliance Industries Ltd. is the sole beneficiary of Independent Media Trust which controls Network18 Media & Investments Ltd.”

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First Published on Dec 1, 2019 02:30 pm
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