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Airtel hikes data rates for pre-paid customers


New Delhi: Bharti Airtel has increased mobile internet tariffs of 2G and 3G services for pre-paid users in Delhi NCR, becoming the second major operator after Idea Cellular to hike rates following the March spectrum auction.

The company has increased 3G charges by over 18 per cent for 1GB plans whereas 2G is dearer by over 13 per cent.

The country’s largest telecom operator has increased the price for 1GB of 3G data to Rs 299 with a validity of 28 days against earlier price of Rs 255.

For 2G plan, Airtel is now offering 1GB of data for Rs 199 with 28 days validity which used to cost Rs 176 earlier.

The changes have been effective for the past few days.

A company spokesperson did not reply to queries in this regard.

The company has made changes in most of the pre-paid plans. For instance, for Rs 655, customers will get 2.5 GB of 3G data while earlier it was 3GB. For Rs 1555, users will get only 8 GB of 3G data as compared to 12 GB earlier.

The company has also reduced validity of many plans.

Idea was the first telecom operator that increased data tariffs after the March spectrum auction in which government received bids worth Rs 1.1 lakh crore.

Airtel also recently increased rates for mobile internet packs, both 2G and 3G, sold online for pre-paid customers across the country.

The company has withdrawn discounts that it was offering for online purchase of mobile data packs, bringing the prices at par with internet packs sold offline through retailers.

In a bid to improve profitability, telcos have been cutting back on discounts and freebies. Last year, firms including Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea had increased data as well as call tariffs.

After the March spectrum auction, industry associations had said there would be hike in tariffs as operators have to meet the commitment to the government.

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