Vodafone and Idea, now rebranded as Vi might have some bad news for its users in the coming months. The telco is looking to compete with the likes of Jio and Airtel in the country. But its overall financial crunch is likely to force them to hike tariff plans. This could affect its appeal to users, who will prefer moving to other operators charging less.
Vi’s hand was always put in a precarious spot when the Supreme Court ordered the telco to over Rs 50,000 crore in AGR dues and penalties. This payment was expected to be made in over 20 years, as per the suggestion given by the Indian government.
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Instead, the Supreme Court gave the telco 15 years to fulfill its payment to the country. This change puts a serious question mark on the telco’s ability to pay off the dues. Especially with the operator facing to pay off its existing dues to vendors and partners. All this clearly indicates that Vi will have to increase the price of its prepaid and postpaid plans for customers. After all, the only way the company can improve its financial position is to increase its average revenue from users (ARPU). Currently, Vi has the lowest ARPU among all the telcos in the sector.
So, it’s quite likely that Vi will have to change its data plans, which might not please its users. And eventually, the plan to hike tariffs could fall back on the telco. As people ditch Vi in favour of Jio or Airtel. Which is why it’ll be interesting to see if Vi can afford to hike data plans, when the competition is tough. And if so, can they afford to lose more users to its rivals.
Vodafone and Idea rebranded to form Vi
Both the telcos have finally merged into one brand which will be called Vi (We) in India. Both the telcos announced the formal merger back in 2018 but have continued to operate separately. Now, with the new brand name, the third-largest telco in the country is looking to compete with Jio and Airtel.