Bharti introduced a new ‘Airtel Advantage’ (AA) prepaid tariff plan over the weekend, which offers local/NLD calls, 25-66% cheaper than headline rates, for payment of Rs50/month. This plan would result in convergence of effective realized rates for local and NLD calls; as such, the real cut is in the NLD tariffs, in our view. We expect others (Vodafone, Idea, RCOM) to follow suit with similar cuts.
The surge in Tata Tele’s (TTSL) August net-adds, clearly suggested that incumbents were losing traffic/MOU, with rapid proliferation of multiple SIM ownership. Post the latest cut, Bharti’s tariffs compare well with TTSL’s ‘normalized’ GSM tariffs, though still higher than the ‘promotional’ (limited period) rates offered by TTSL.