After Vodafone and Airtel, Reliance Jio to raise tariffs

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Reliance Jio Infocomm will raise tariffs in the next few weeks and take other steps that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) recommends to strengthen the industry and sustain investments.

“Like other operators, we will also work with the government and comply with the regulatory regime to strengthen the industry to benefit Indian consumers and take measures including appropriate increase in tariffs in next few weeks in a manner that does not adversely impact data consumption or growth in digital adoption and sustains investments,” it said in a statement.

Rivals Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel have said they will increase prices next month. None of the three top operators has quantified the hikes yet.

Jio said it has revolutionised the Indian telecom sector by ushering in the age of latest data-centric technologies and propelled India into global digital leadership.

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“As a technology disruptor and force multiplier, Jio acutely understands the transformative role telecommunications and digital services are playing for the Indian economy and society today. Jio has enabled India as the world’s largest data-market growing from 20 crore GB per month in 2016 to over 600 crore GB per month now. ”

Jio said it is committed to always being regulatory compliant, and work with the industry to keep the telecom sector a vibrant part of the Indian economy and a vital engine for our country’s growth.

“The whole industry needs to come up the curve and raise standards to meet the aspirations of Indian citizens and fulfil the nation’s digital agenda,” it added.

Airtel with 28 crore users and Vodafone Idea with 31 crore subscribers have backed the idea of setting a floor price to offset financial stress in the sector. The current low tariffs and the need to invest in networks to keep up with surging data demand are the main reasons for their move to hike tariffs.

Both have also been hit by a Supreme Court ruling expanding the definition of adjusted gross revenue (AGR) based on which licence fee and spectrum usage charges are levied. They are now required to pay more than Rs 80,000 crore to the government in less than three months.

Jio has 35 crore customers and is the only profitable telecom company in the country.

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