Telecom sector in India has seen some big changes in the past couple of years. Reliance Jio’s entry marked the beginning of nearly free outgoing calls and dirt-cheap data. And with such fierce competition,incumbent operators like Airtel, Vodafone, and Idea Cellular had to reduce their tariff plans to give Jio a tough fight. But these cheaper tariffs are hurting the ARPUs (average revenue per user) of telcos.
We have seen big entities like Vodafone and Idea Cellular go for a merger, and the same has been the case with Airtel and Tata Docomo. Now, to boost the ARPUs telcos have done away with talk time top-up recharges, and have instead introduced minimum combo recharge plans. There are also a lot of dual-SIM smartphone users, who just have a secondary connection for incoming calls, and ARPU generated from them is around Rs 10 in about six months.
Then there are users who have been on 2G network when using feature phones, and not willing to upgrade to 4G-enabled smartphones. These are the ones who just have a mobile connection for incoming calls. Telecom operators want to weed out such users, and move them to a monthly plan with minimum recharge value, and thus boost their ARPUs. How does this affect you, and why is it important to know this? Let us clarify.
No more “lifetime free incoming” facility
Back in 2004, telcos introduced the Rs 999 prepaid recharge plan with the promise of “lifetime free incoming”. The offer was simple, pay a certain amount, and do away from the worries of monthly recharge. If you are the one who doesn’t make outgoing calls, use mobile data or send messages, and just want a mobile connection to stay connected, this plan was for you.
In case you want to make outgoing calls, send SMS or use data, do a top-up with plans that offer talk time, and you are good to go, charged as per base tariff. In order to keep the number active though, one had to make a top-up recharge of at least Rs 10 in six months (180 days). But now, with data getting cheaper, and outgoing calls also getting nearly free, telecom operators cannot make revenues using this model. As a result, you have minimum monthly prepaid recharge plans……Read More>>