Telecom major Airtel has increased international call rates by up to 80 per cent this month mainly due to the impact of depreciation in rupee. Another leading operator Idea has also hiked international call rates by up to 25 per cent, according to the company's website.
As per the information available on the websites of two companies, standard call rates to countries like the US, the UK and Canada has been raised to Rs 8 per minute, from Rs 6.40 per minute earlier. Maximum hike of 80 per cent has been on Airtel network on calls made for special services in Australia with effect from October 10. The calls which cost Rs 100 for dialling Australia numbers with ISD code 6113 and 6114 have been raised from Rs 100 to Rs 180.
"The strengthening dollar has put tremendous pressure on rate realisation in the ISD segments which Bharti Airtel had been absorbing till now. However, due to the recent steep fluctuations, this cost structure has become unviable resulting in corrections in ISD tariffs," an Airtel spokesperson said. No immediate comments could be received from Idea Cellular.
The websites of both the companies show rise in call rates to most of the countries to Rs 12 a minute from Rs 10 a minute earlier, and Rs 17-20 a minute from Rs 15 a minute earlier. Some of the ISD rates have been hiked to Rs 60 a minute from Rs 50 a minute, and to Rs 120 a minute from Rs 100 earlier.
In case of calls to Germany, Airtel has maintained old rates on certain codes. Idea has changed call rates to certain destinations in Germany by 20 per cent. At some destination in Germany, call rates on Idea Network is around 88 per cent lower compared to that offered by Airtel.