Telecom companies across the country are required to pay 10 percent dues by March 31. The bench, headed by Justice Arun Mishra, said the balance should be paid between April 1 and March 31, 2031. With this, most telecom companies are likely to raise rates sharply, market analysts said. Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea, which have to pay 10 percent of their fixed income (AGR) arrears over the next seven months, are expected to raise the minimum rate for voice and data services by 10 percent.
Bharti Airtel will have to pay Rs 2,600 crore and Vodafone Idea Rs 5,000 crore by March. According to brokerage firm Jefferies, the average revenue per user will need to increase by 10 to 27 percent. ARPU for the first quarter of this financial year was Rs 157 for Airtel and Rs 114 for Vodafone Idea. Therefore, it is estimated that it is possible to increase rates by at least 10 percent.
According to national media reports, the country’s leading telecom companies are holding such consultations. The new tariff hike comes after the Supreme Court ruled yesterday on the total revenue arrears of telecom companies. The apex court had yesterday given a ten-year deadline to pay the gross revenue arrears of telecom companies. However, it has been suggested that 10 percent of the arrears should be paid before March 31.