India’s second-largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel on Thursday said the subscription for its international roaming packs increased by 108% YoY (year-on-year) in April.
A significant growth in the company’s subscription of international roaming packs can be attributed to an increase in travel as well as a reduction in rates by the company in December last year.
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The subscription data is based on the average growth in six markets–Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Tamil Nadu, Kerala and Karnataka. The growth in subscription is on the back of a 36% YoY increase in people travelling abroad during April, according to data by the company.
Airtel witnessed 146% growth in subscription in Karnataka, the highest among the six markets. Subscription growth in Delhi and Mumbai stood at 108% and 100%, respectively.
According to company data, Hyderabad witnessed the maximum 47% growth in international travel. From Karnataka and Tamil Nadu, the growth in international travel was 41% and 39%, respectively, followed by 35% each in Mumbai and Delhi.
International travelling from Kerala during the month grew 16% YoY, according to trend captured by Airtel. Destinations like the USA, UK, Germany, France, Netherlands and Switzerland emerged as most popular holiday destinations.
“Our new international roaming plans once again focus on putting the customer first. Reliable connectivity when travelling abroad is an absolute necessity nowadays. Our industry-leading roaming plans are very affordable and will ensure that our customers can stay connected all the time, wherever they are, without the hassle of changing their SIM cards or numbers,” said Nidhi Lauria, CEO of Delhi region at Bharti Airtel,
“We are seeing travel already soaring this holiday season and we look forward to serving Delhiites through a more connected travel experience,” Lauria added.
In December last year, Bharti Airtel launched World Pass, its range of common international roaming plans for consumers to travel across 184 countries without need for separate mobile plans. The telecom operator had revised its offering in order to remove confusion among consumers in choosing international roaming plans and further to bank on surge in international travel.
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On the basis of revised offering, the company slashed the international roaming plan rates by 99% to as low as Rs 133 a day, making it more economical than even the local SIMs of most countries.
“This has resulted in a significant jump for the company in pack subscriptions in both prepaid and postpaid segments. The 10-day validity packs remain the most popular,” Airtel said.
Unlimited data, reduced rentals, no speed throttling, 24×7 customer care helpline and emergency data services at reduced costs were some of the announcements made by telecom operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea to boost their revenues from the international roaming segment last year. Currently, the segment contributes less than 3% of the telcos’ total revenues.