5G unlimited plans to end as Jio and Airtel seek to monetize the network

Unlimited 5G plans could soon come to an end in India. That’s the report Economic Times has made stating that the country’s two leading telecommunication service providers Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio will pull their unlimited 5G data offerings in the second half of 2024. The news would be a blow to the growing legion of 5G users in India who are just acclimatizing to the latest network with generous data plans.

Citing industry analysts, ET wrote that Airtel and Jio plan to charge at least 10% more than the current 4G tariffs to commercialize 5G and drive up revenue.

To date, both the telcos have been providing unlimited 5G plans at the existing 4G rates. But as the two prominent companies expand their coverage to a large part of India, they have perhaps decided to monetize the network.   

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End of unlimited 5G plans in India!

While the idea of paying higher for an existing service could likely bemuse the subscribers, the companies are planning to compensate for that with more data volume. The same outlet reports that Jio and Airtel will provide 30-40% additional data to accelerate adoption and prop up their market share.

It seems that the companies will have the liberty to raise the mobile tariff given that it’s too low at the moment. Citing International Telecommunication Union (ITU) data, ET observed that telco service tariff in India remains one of the lowest in the world at $2 a month. Additionally, the telcos haven’t hiked their subscription fees for two years. Jio has claimed to penetrated all India coverage while Airtel is also keeping pace.

Related: Jio Aims to Become the Largest 5G Network in the World

India is the world’s third-largest telecommunication market and it’s expected to grow its revenue to ₹2,77,300 crore by the end of 2024.

Jio and Airtel continue to lead India’s mobile industry with 5G with 125 million 5G subscribers between them since launching the latest cellular network in October 2022. The country is expected to surpass 200 million 5G users at the end of 2024.

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