Mumbai: Shares of Bharti AirtelBSE 0.07 % were subdued with negative bias following the company’s decision to charge higher tariff for voice over internet protocol (VoIP) players who provide calls at normal data rates.
“All Internet/data packs or plans (through which customer can avail discounted rate) shall only be valid for internet browsing and will exclude VoIP (both incoming/ outgoing). VoIP over data connectivity would be charged at standard data rates of 4p / 10 KB (3G service) and 10p / 10 KB (2G service),” Bharti’s website states.
The company on Wednesday announced that it would charge VoIP players nearly 16 times the rate of normal data pack charges.
Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad commenting on the hike in rates, said “We will look into it. Government will come back with a structured response.”
Analysts at Kotak Institutional Equities are of the view that the move is a “risky” one.
“In addition to risking customer ire, such a move opens up the possibility of an existing or a new competitor (like R-Jio) to use this as a fairly strong competitive differentiation plank. We are in for some interesting times on this front,” the report said.
At 12:50 p.m.; the stock was at Rs 353.25, down 0.27 per cent, on the BSE. It retreated after falling 1.28 per cent to intraday low of Rs 349.65.