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Business
28 Dec 2018

Airtel willing to lose customers after ending free incoming

Airtel ends free incoming, willing to lose customers

Airtel is willing to lose up to 70 million of its customers as it continues to enforce its minimum balance requirement to keep incoming calls active on prepaid connections.

The move has been designed to increase its average revenue per user (ARPU) and weed out customers who are only using Airtel numbers as secondary options to receive calls.

Here are the details.

In context

Airtel ends free incoming, willing to lose customers
Airtel ended free incoming plan in October

Airtel's plan

Airtel ended free incoming plan in October

The entry of Jio not just pushed Airtel to make 4G affordable but also slashed the ARPU of the company.

Many people started using Jio as their primary number while keeping Airtel only to receive calls - without recharging.

But now, the telco has ended lifetime free incoming and users have to recharge at least with Rs. 35 every month to keep receiving calls.

Executive's comment

And, Airtel is willing to lose customers for this

The move has drawn flak, but an unnamed Airtel executive has claimed that the telco is optimistic that it will raise their ARPU.

"I think we may shed a few customers - 50 million to 70 million - as some of them may not exist at all or these could be second SIMs," the executive told Hindu BusinessLine. "That's ok... why carry the burden?"

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Statement from Gopal Vittal, Airtel's MD and CEO for India

"I think we have hit the bottom in terms of ARPUs and pricing," Gopal Vital, Airtel's MD and CEO had said in a recent interview. "I think both have to lift from here. We want a profitable and sustainable market share."

So, how Airtel plans to get customers onboard?

New customers

So, how Airtel plans to get customers onboard?

The executive claimed the company plans to leverage the shift of users from feature phones to 4G phones to increase its user-base.

Plus, Airtel also plans to increase its ARPU by offering better services and more content with its partners.

It already offers Amazon Prime and Netflix benefits to postpaid users and content from HOOQ and other services on its Airtel TV Premium app.

Vodafone Idea

Even Vodafone Idea is taking similar approach

Along with Airtel, Vodafone Idea is also taking the same route to increase its rapidly declining average revenue per user.

However, it is worth noting that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) has instructed both these giants to inform customers about these changes in a clear and transparent way.

Legally speaking, both companies are allowed to withdraw any plan older than 6 months.

Ask NewsBytes
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Most asked questions

Will Airtel disconnect my connection if not recharged?

Is Vodafone doing the same?

What we'll get with the recharge of Rs. 35?

Is there any way to avoid this recharge restriction?

More questions

Will Airtel disconnect my connection if not recharged?

Asked 2018-12-28 18:43:58 by Paridhi Kapur

Answered by NewsBytes

Airtel won't probably disconnect your number immediately. But, without having the minimum recharge, you won't have incoming service.

Is Vodafone doing the same?

Asked 2018-12-28 18:43:58 by Vivaan Lobo

Answered by NewsBytes

Yes. Vodafone Idea is also taking the same approach and enforcing minimum recharge per month restrictions on users.

What we'll get with the recharge of Rs. 35?

Asked 2018-12-28 18:43:58 by Diya Yadav

Answered by NewsBytes

You'll get some talk time for the recharge, some data and free incoming for a period of 28 days.

Is there any way to avoid this recharge restriction?

Asked 2018-12-28 18:43:58 by Muhammad Rangan

Answered by NewsBytes

It could be frustrating, but as of now, these are the only minimum recharge amounts and they are mandatory to keep using Airtel and Vodafone Idea's services.

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