Two of India's leading telecom service providers have hiked their international call rates by large margins, mainly due to the impact of depreciation in rupee.
Market leader Bharti Airtel has hiked its ISD rates by as much as 80 per cent, while Idea Cellular has raised the rates by up to 25 per cent with effect from today.
According to Airtel's website, it has raised standard call rates to countries like the US, the UK and Canada to Rs8 from Rs6.40 per minute.
The maximum hike of 80 per cent applies to calls made for special services in Australia. Calls which used to cost Rs100 for dialling Australia numbers with ISD codes 6113 and 6114 will now cost Rs180.
''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.
The websites of both the companies show a rise in call rates to most foreign countries to Rs12 a minute from Rs10 a minute earlier, and Rs17-20 a minute from Rs15 a minute earlier, depending on the type of call.
Some of the ISD rates have been hiked to Rs60 a minute from Rs50 a minute, and to Rs120 a minute from Rs100 earlier.