Vodafone, India’s second-largest telecom company, on Thursday, cut its mobile data download rates by 80% throughout the country to two paise/10 kb from 10 paise/10kb. About 30 million subscribers will benefit from the move, which will take effect on November 1.
Vodafone’s decision to cut tariffs will force rivals Bharti Airtel, Reliance Communications and Idea Cellular to follow suit, analysts said. These three companies have a combined subscriber base of about 100 million for their mobile data services. Tata Teleservices and Aircel are the other players in this market, which has 140 million subscribers.
A Bharti Airtel spokesperson, however, denied any move to cut tariffs while the Idea Cellular and Reliance spokespersons claimed that the tariffs offered by their companies were “already competitive”.
Vodafone had cut international roaming charges a few days ago. In June, it had reduced data download prices in Karnataka, UP West and Madhya Pradesh-Chhattisgarh circles. “Following the successful pilot launch in three circles in mid-June, this attractive and lowest mobile internet charge is now being rolled out pan-India,” said the company in a statement on Thursday.
Bharti Airtel and Idea Cellular had reduced internet access tariffs in June by about 90% in some circles. Bharti Airtel reduced its tariff by 90% in Punjab and Haryana in June for 2G subscribers to one paise/10 kb from 10 paise/10kb. Idea Cellular also reduced mobile Internet access charges by 90% for its 2G subscribers in eight circles to 2 paise/10 kb.