Subscribers of Bharti AirtelNSE 2.38 % and Vodafone Idea travelling abroad will have to pay more as India’s two older mobile phone companies have increased their international roaming (IR) prices by as much as 20%, in a step to boost revenue and margins.
The latest pricing moves by the two telecom operators come soon after they unveiled minimum recharge plans and increased rates on some tariff plans. Experts add that going forward, there are likely to be more such tweaks in tariff plans — local and roaming — as incumbent telcos focus on getting back into the black over time.
SIM card provider Matrix, on its part, said it is hopeful that it can take advantage and grab 20% of the overseas travelling customer base from telcos by offering them prices lower than what operators are offering.
Airtel, the second-largest telco, increased its price plan for a 10-day package for popular destinations such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and Australia, by 25% to Rs 1,499 and its roaming rates to the US, the UK, Europe, Indonesia and the UAE for 10 days, by 20% to Rs 3,599.
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International travellers, although a small percentage of subscribers, belong to the higher revenue generating bracket who need to be retained at any cost. Analysts say it is most important to retain or acquire these customers because they provide highest return on investments.