Bharti Airtel Launches Small Prepaid Monthly Recharge Plan for Rs. 155
Bharti Airtel has increased the price of its 28-day minimum recharge for mobile service plan by around 57 percent to Rs. 155 in Haryana and Odisha, according to the company’s website and analysts.
The company has launched its recharge plan of Rs. 99, where it offered 200MB of data and calls at a cost of Rs. 2.5 runs per second. In Haryana and Odisha, Airtel has now started offering Rs. 155 plan with unlimited calls, 1GB data and 300 SMS.
According to sources close to the development, the company has started testing the new system and is likely to roll out the same across India based on the outcome.
It is possible to terminate all 28-day calling plans with SMS and data worth less than Rs. 155. This means that even for availing the SMS service on a monthly plan, the customer will have to recharge his mobile phone account by Rs. 155 vouchers.
An email query sent to Bharti Airtel in this regard went unanswered.
ICICI Securities said Bharti Airtel has started a market-testing tax hike campaign in Haryana and Odisha circles, and the move has just added a big risk to its valuations.
“The previous recharge of Rs. 99 had a talk time value of Rs. 99 and a very limited data allowance of 200MB valid for 28 days. In contrast, the current recharge of Rs. 155 offers unlimited voice, 1GB data allowance and 300 SMS. This is a 57 percent increase in minimum recharge, and it has been done in a customer segment where affordability is very important,” said an ICICI Securities report by research analysts Sanjesh Jain and Akash Kumar.
Earlier, the company did a similar exercise (market testing) while increasing its recharge offer from Rs. 79 to Rs. 99 constituencies in 2021, the report said.
“Bharti has taken the first step of the industry in starting to increase the prices in the current market situation. We expect that it will now wait for the response from the competition. If it does not get enough support, Bharti may have to bring back the Rs. 99 pack. Then it would be difficult to imagine who will take action the next tax hike – and will Bharti support it? In our view, yes,” the report said.