Airtel wants to increase data prices to ₹100 per GB, founder Sunil Mittal asks subscribers to ‘prepare to pay a lot more’

Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman and Managing Director of Bharti Airtel, during a press conference in New Delhi on June 8, 2010BCCL
  • Airtel’s Sunil Bharti Mittal has hinted that tariff hikes are coming soon, asking subscribers to ‘prepare to pay a lot more’.
  • He revealed that instead of 16GB data for ₹160, subscribers should get just 1.6GB data, hinting at a price of ₹100 per GB.
  • At a minimum, Mittal stated that he wants to increase average revenue per user (ARPU) by at least 27%, but said a 60% increase would be ‘ideal’.
Bharti Airtel founder and Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal asked his subscribers to ‘prepare to pay a lot more’, hinting that big tariff hikes are coming soon. If you pay ₹45 per month now, your bill could soon more than double to ₹100 per month.

“You either consume 1.6GB of capacity per month either at this price point (₹160) or you may prepare to pay a lot more. We are not wanting $50-60 like the US or Europe but certainly $2 for 16 GB per month is not sustainable,” said Sunil Mittal at the launch of a book written by his colleague at Bharti Enterprises, Akhil Gupta.

Mittal referred to offering 16GB data at ₹160 as a tragedy, further adding that users should get 1.6GB data at this price or just pay a lot more. This translates to prices of 1GB data at ₹100, instead of ₹10 right now.

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This could mean a major tariff hike is coming soon. Currently, Airtel offers 1GB per day for 24 days at ₹199 per month. Going by Mittal’s comments, the data benefits could be reduced by ten times, to just 2.4GB per month.

He was further quoted by the PTI report as saying that at the lower end, Airtel subscribers would have to pay at least ₹100 per month. Currently, the base Airtel plan costs ₹45 per month, so Mittal is talking about a more than 100% increase in its base tariffs.


Airtel eyes an ARPU increase of nearly 60% in the next six months

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Mittal further said that average revenue per user (ARPU) of ₹300 is required to make the industry sustainable. “You should see solid ARPUs building up in the next 5-6 for industry to be sustainable,” he said.

Reiterating that a tariff hike is certain, he further added, “In six months’ time we should be crossing the mark of Rs 200 for sure and Rs 250 would be ideal.”

What do Airtel’s current plans look like?

Airtel currently offers plans starting at ₹45 and the prices go all the way up to ₹2,698 which offers annual validity.
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Here’s a look at some of the most popular Airtel plans along with their benefits:

PlanValidityBenefits
₹4528 daysIncoming + outgoing validity
₹14928 days2GB data, unlimited calls
₹21928 days1GB/day data, unlimited calls
₹29828 days2GB/day data, unlimited calls
₹39956 days1.5GB/day data, unlimited calls
₹59884 days1.5GB/day data, unlimited calls
₹2,498365 days2GB/day data, unlimited calls
₹2,698365 days2GB/day data, unlimited calls, Disney+ Hotstar VIP

Airtel subscribers express their disappointment

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The news of Airtel hinting at an increase in its tariffs has not gone down well with the company’s subscribers. Many users took to Twitter to express that they are upset, asking the company to instead improve its quality of service and speeds first.



A few others also said that they are ready to port their number out of Airtel.

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