Say Goodbye to India’s Bargain Mobile Calling Plans

Photograph by Dhiraj Singh/Bloomberg

Mobile phone customers may face tariffs as airwaves are auctioned off.

Constantly shrinking prices for mobile subscriptions helped turn India into the world’s second-largest wireless market. But those rates, which have been as low as 50 paise (0.9 cent), are about to disappear.

India’s Supreme Court ruled in February that airwaves must be auctioned, following an official report saying mobile carriers had been getting permits at “unbelievably low prices.” The court said their allocation was corrupted by “money power,” as Kartikay Mehrotra reported for Bloomberg News.

The auctions, which are scheduled for next week, could almost triple rates, but may help the country climb out of its $95 billion budget deficit. That may come at the expense of putting a pin in India’s fast-inflating mobile market.

(This post was updated with more information about the auctions.)

What do you think about this article? Comment below!