Aircel, Tata Tele, BSNL, Airtel dole out freebies to boost revenue

Faced with dipping revenues for the last few quarters, telecom operators are betting on aggressive marketing with attractive airtime and data packages to drive growth.

According to data available with the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India, telecom industry’s revenues fell by 2% — the lowest in the last five quarters. Adjusted gross revenues also fell by 1% during the quarter.

However, data business continued to gain traction. Active data subscriber base and traffic increased by 15% and 23%, respectively, during the second quarter.  To cash in on the growing trend, operators are reducing data tariffs and offering free usage on bundled offers to further boost data penetration.

For example, Aircel, Tata Teleservices Ltd and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd are offering 1 GB data plan for Rs 125. Meanwhile, Bharti Airtel has reduced the price of its 4G dongle to Rs 1,500 from its 2012 launch price of Rs 7,999. Sistema Shyam Telecom Ltd has launched 3G-plus network, offering speeds of 9.8 Mbps, compared to 7.2 Mbps offered by other operators.  

According to research firm IDC, tablets are expected to dominate the device market over the next two-three years, while 3G devices are expected to dominate the dongle market. Going forward, the dongle market is likely to see a churn with expected decline in laptop and PC sales, the agency said.


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