Leading telecom operator Vodafone India on Tuesday hiked its call rates by 20 per cent in Mumbai circle. This could mean the beginning of the retaliatory posters by the telecom operators against TRAI’s recommendations on 2G auction which proposes a steep rise in the base price for 2 G spectrum auction.
In an SMS alert to its post-paid subscribers, Vodafone said local and STD rates will now be 1.2 paise per second. The new rates are effective from May bill cycle.
Vodafone has been offering a call rate of 1 paisa per second for both local as well as national calls.
Telecom lobbies and operators including GSMA have been criticizing the regulator’s recommendations saying this would discourage the foreign investment and lead to high tariff affecting the customers.
In the midst of fierce competition, the operators had slashed the call rates in the recent past.
Reacting to the TRAI recommendation, Vodafone had said that the steep hike in the auction price will only harm the Industry. "We believe that several of these recommendations are retrograde and if accepted, will do irreparable harm to the industry", it said.
"It (TRAI recommendations) will hamper the ability to connect the unconnected and goes against the objectives of National Telecom Policy of ensuring improved rural tele density and right to broadband," Vodafone said.
In its recommendations the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) proposed a minimum or base price of Rs 3,622.18 crore for every mega Hertz of spectrum in the 1800 MHz band, where radio airwaves have been vacated following the Supreme Court’s verdict on February 2 cancelling all the 122 spectrum licences allotted in 2008 during the tenure if the former telecom minister A Raja.