Airtel, Vodafone Idea Might Start Charging Outgoing Calls To Other Networks: Report

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The ongoing fight between the telecom operators on IUC is going to escalate further, as Airtel and Vodafone Idea are likely to charge for outgoing calls. In a surprising move, Reliance Jio has announced that it will charge 0.06 paisa per minute for outgoing calls to Airtel, Vodafone Idea, and BSNL. The company has also launched new plans for Interconnect Usage Charge (IUC). Jio also said that it will give extra data to its customers.

Airtel, Vodafone Idea Might Start Charging Outgoing Calls
"We see this as an opportunity to raise tariff-- through charging separately for off-net outgoing calls or increase bundled pack prices - for Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea (VIL)," ICICI Securities was quoted by Economic Times. On the other hand, the shares of both Airtel and Vodafone Idea surged in the morning trading by 4 percent and 18 percent, respectively.

 

"They (Airtel and VIL) may not try to increase their competitive intensity against Jio by keeping their tariffs unchanged. An earlier attempt by Bharti on this front in Dec-17 was followed by severe price cuts by Jio in Jan-18," Himanshu Shah, an analyst at Dolat Capital was quoted by ET. Adding to that, "Jio's majority subscriber base is on bundled plans and it is thus easier for it to charge for off-net calls which may not be the case with Bharti and Vodafone Idea."

Meanwhile, Vodafone intimated that this move by Reliance Jio was done in the haste. This matter is between telecom operators, and this not related to consumer pricing matters. The operator further goes on to say that the consumers are not in a position to distinguish between on-net and off-net calls and they do not want to burden our subscribers with the inconvenience of trying to do so. Furthermore, Airtel alleged that this decision by Reliance Jio to charge 6 paise per minute is just forcing TRAI to bring down the IUC rates.

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