Business

Airtel removes cap on free outgoing calls to other networks.

Under the new plans announced on december 1, 2019, call and data charges became dearer for its pre-paid customers by up to 50%./ File photo

Under the new plans announced on december 1, 2019, call and data charges became dearer for its pre-paid customers by up to 50%./ File photo   | Photo Credit: Reuters

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Telecom operator Bharti Airtel has removed cap on free outgoing calls on other networks under its new plans for pre-paid customers that came into effect from December 3.

The company had earlier capped outgoing calls to network of other telecom operator to 1,000 minutes in case of plans with 28 days validity, 3,000 in 84 days validity plans and 12,000 in 365 days validity plan. Beyond this limit, customers were required to pay 6 paisa per minute for outgoing calls.

“From tomorrow, enjoy unlimited calling to any network in India with all our unlimited plans. No conditions apply,” Bharti Airtel said in a tweet on Friday.

The company on December 1 announced new plans under which call and data charges became dearer for its pre-paid customers by up to 50 per cent from December 3.

The company had announced new plans in “unlimited“category with 2 days, 28 days, 84 days, 365 days validity which on the back of the envelope calculations showed higher price of up to 50%.

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Bharti Airtel increased its entry level unlimited plan with a year long validity by about 50% to ₹1,499, with 24 GB of data, in place of ₹998 plan which comes with 12 GB data usage limit.

The price of 365-days validity plan in the same category with daily data usage limit of 1.5 GB per day now costs 41.2% more at ₹2,398.

The company also announced three new plans - ₹219 with 28 days validity offering 1 GB per day, ₹399 and ₹449 plan with 56 days validity each, offering 1.5 GB and 2 GB data usage, respectively.

With the removal of limit, Airtel’s new 399 plans with 56 days validity becomes cheaper than that of Reliance Jio plan at same price.

The move from both the companies follows Supreme Court judgement on adjusted gross revenue.

Bharti Airtel has posted a staggering ₹23,045 crore net loss for the second quarter ended September 30, due to provisioning of ₹28,450 crore in the aftermath of the Supreme Court ruling on statutory dues.

According to government data, the liabilities in the case of Bharti Airtel add up to nearly ₹35,586 crore, of which ₹21,682 crore is licence fee and another ₹13,904.01 crore is the SUC dues (excluding the dues of Telenor and Tata Teleservices).

The government is currently not considering any proposal on waiver of penalties and interest on outstanding licence fee based on adjusted gross revenue (AGR), or on extending the timelines for telecom companies to pay up their statutory dues.

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Printable version | Jan 20, 2020 5:44:51 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/business/airtel-removes-cap-on-free-outgoing-call-to-other-networks/article30231759.ece

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