The Jio effect: Telcos may discontinue free Incoming calls facility

What if you’ll get to know that your incoming calls are no longer free, yes you heard it right as telecom companies are in a procedure to implement this soon.

As we all know that Mukesh Ambani- owned Reliance Jio has revolutionized the telecom sector by offering unlimited free voice calls and cheap data. This has also forced two operators (Vodafone and Idea) to merge their operations and to for new ways to increase their Average Revenue Per User (ARPU). As per a report in Zeebiz.com telecom companies have come up with minimum recharge plans with the validity of 28 days. In fact, Sunil Mittal led Airtel has launched three plans which start from Rs 35 and other plans priced at Rs 65 and 95. Under this newly launched plan, the user will get talk time of Rs 26 and 100MB data for 28 days at Rs 35. This will renew the incoming call facility. However, this move will surely hit people and their pocket especially in rural areas who are using mobiles for incoming calls only and if they do then they opt for Rs 10 which offers talk time of Rs 7. India Ratings said RJio’s aggressive marketing strategy and an aggressive tariff plan among the key incumbents have led to a decline in overall average revenue per user (ARPU) levels over the last two years. ARPU for key players came down to 100-105 during 1QFY19 from 140-150 in 4QFY17. RJio remains an outlier, with the highest ARPU level of 135 in 1QFY19. Furthermore, to keep a tap on the churn rate, key players are now focussing low tariff plans coupled with large data allowance at a low price, further putting downward pressure on ARPU levels. Also, telcos are focussing on providing content freebies to increase subscriber stickiness through OTT platforms.

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