TRN Bureau, New Delhi: Mobile phone users could see a hike of 10-15% in their mobile bills very soon analysts have estimated as telecom operators may resort to an increase in call rates to be able to pay nearly Rs 1.10 lakh crore to the government for the spectrum they have just bought.
“I don’t rule out a minimum 10% increase in tariffs,” said Mr Rajan Mathews, Director General of the GSM industry body, COAI.
The auction was structured in a way to ensure maximum revenue, he said, adding, “This will put inevitable pressure for an upward revision in call and data tariffs.”
Analysts believe that the increase in call rates would need to be spread over time due to existing competitive pressures in the industry and the impending launch of telecom services by Reliance Jio Infocomm. The escalation in debt servicing costs will force telecom operators to increase tariffs.
Mobile call rates could rise by 10-15% in coming months. Carriers have had to keep rates stable or even lower call rates in the recent quarters to retain or add subscribers. Even as the government did not reveal the details of the auction proceeds, the additional debt is expected to significantly increase the finance costs, assuming that the operators facing licence renewals did win back their spectrum.