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JioBoycott and ‘BSNL Ki Ghar Wapsi’ Trends Surge as Users Protest Telecom Price Increases

JioBoycott: In a significant move impacting millions of users across India, telecom giants Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea have simultaneously increased the prices of their data plans. This hike, which came into effect recently, has sparked widespread dissatisfaction among consumers who are now facing higher costs for mobile services.

The backlash against these tariff hikes has manifested strongly on social media platforms, particularly on X (formerly Twitter), where hashtags such as ‘JioBoycott’ have gained momentum. Over 40,000 posts under this trend express user frustration over the sudden increase in prices, particularly affecting Jio subscribers who have been vocal about the changes.

Simultaneously, another trending hashtag, ‘BSNLkigharwapsi’, has emerged with over 45,000 posts, indicating a growing sentiment in favor of state-owned telecom provider BSNL. Many users are advocating for BSNL as an alternative due to its comparatively lower-priced plans, despite the absence of 5G connectivity.

The shift in sentiment towards BSNL is largely influenced by its affordability compared to the revised tariffs of Reliance Jio, Bharti Airtel, and Vodafone Idea. For instance, BSNL offers a plan providing 2GB data per day for 30 days at Rs 199 in the UP West Circle, significantly cheaper than similar offerings from its private competitors.

Reliance Jio and Airtel have also removed the ‘unlimited 5G’ feature from some of their more affordable plans, further exacerbating dissatisfaction among users who relied on these plans for their daily data needs. Despite the higher costs, users now find themselves constrained by data limits that were previously more flexible.

Explaining the rationale behind the price hikes, Airtel highlighted the necessity to maintain a healthy average revenue per user (ARPU) to fund substantial investments in network technology and spectrum. Similarly, Jio and Vodafone Idea have cited similar reasons for the tariff adjustments, aimed at ensuring sustainable growth and offering a modest return on capital.

The price hikes, which came into effect on July 3 for Airtel and Jio, and July 4 for Vodafone Idea, include increases of up to Rs 600 in both prepaid and postpaid plans. Notably, annual recharge plans from Airtel and Jio have seen significant hikes, with plans previously priced at Rs 2,999 now costing Rs 3,599.

While the telcos justify these increases as necessary for maintaining and upgrading their infrastructure, the widespread social media backlash and trending hashtags reflect significant consumer discontent and a shifting preference towards more affordable alternatives like BSNL. As the debate continues, users weigh their options amidst evolving telecom dynamics in India.

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