"Effective from the June bill cycle, the monthly rental will have a nominal increase of Rs. 50 per month," Head of Service Delivery, Mumbai Operations, Amit Dimri said in an email to post-paid customers, who constitute just 4 percent of its 137.9 million subscribers as of end March.
When contacted, Idea's Chief Marketing Officer Sashi Shanker told PTI that the company keeps changing its tariff/ call rates and rentals. But he could not say whether the hike in the rentals is only for the Mumbai circle or across the circles. Idea operates across the nation with presence in all the 22 circles.
Cash-strapped telecom operators have been hiking rates on a regular basis. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone had scaled down discount offers. Airtel had also reduced benefits for certain mobile Internet schemes. Vodafone too had also reduced validity on its promotional packs.
Fierce competition for subscribers had earlier forced telecom operators to slash tariffs, making the country the cheapest market globally when it comes to call rates, which had fallen to as low as half a paisa some time ago.
Telecom operators were blaming tariff hike on high outgo on spectrum auctions in the recently held auctions, wherein they had to shell out Rs. 61,000 crores in bid for 2G spectrum.
In the March quarter, Idea had reported a 91 percent rise in net income to Rs. 590 crores on healthy growth in call and data volume. Its average revenue per user (Arpu), which had been declining for a long period, went up to Rs. 170 in FY 2014 as against Rs. 157 last fiscal, an increase of 8.3 percent.
However, the company saw a 2.8 percent decline in average revenue per minute (ARPM) to 43.6 paise from 44.9 paise a year ago.
Total consolidated revenue in the fourth quarter rose 16.2 percent to Rs. 7,043.8 crores from Rs. 6,061.4 crores a year. Consolidated revenue for the full fiscal grew 18 percent to Rs. 26,518.9 crores.