Thursday, December 30, 2010

Airtel increases mobile internet charges

Airtel, the market leader in mobile space, has announced an increase in mobile internet browsing charges on its mobile office service.

Airtel has more than doubled the charges from 30p/50 KB to 30p/20 KB. However, if you have taken a package you are less likely to be affected. For instance, if you are paying a fixed charge of Rs 98 for 2GB data access, you are unlikely to see any change in your bill.

On the other hand, Airtel's Live WAP portal, which was free of charge till now, will be charged at the rate of 30p/20 KB with effect from December 28, 2010.

Whether other operators will follow suit is yet to be seen. Since it is a move that has been made to check excessive load on the network, there is a possibility that operators whose networks are not very busy will not hike prices.

Another possible reason could be to push people to take up fixed monthly plans for internet access, thereby securing a minimum revenue per user for the operator.

As per an Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) report, there was 104 per cent increase in users of mobile internet in 2009 as compared to 2008. As the trend is going to get stronger, moves like these might hamper it. In heavily competitive markets like India, such moves might not be feasible.

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