Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Bharti Airtel reaches 90 million subscriber base

Bharti Airtel, one of the Indian telecom giants, achieved another major milestone by doubling the gap with its nearest competitors. With its 90 million subscriber, the current difference between Bharti Airtel and its nearest competitor rose to 25 million which was previously 10 million-12 million. The company also announced to start its own 3G services within the next six months. In addition, its DTH business that started from October, 2008 is doing quite well. Currently, Bharti Airtel is providing DTH services in 92 cities in the country.

In an interview, Sunil Mittal, Chairman, Bharti Group, said that his company is doing well even in the middle of hard economic times and from now on, number of subscribers would not determine the top position of a mobile operator in India but the revenue share. Mr. Mittal said that his company now has 30% share of the total revenue generated by mobile operators in India.

Mr. Mittal said that they are now waiting for the allotment of the spectrum by the Department of Telecommunications (DoT) through auction. Unfortunately, no specific date has been set for the auction due to various unresolved issues including reserve price of each block and number of blocks to be auctioned. Currently, the DoT recommended reserve price for each block is Rs. 2,020 for pan Indian operation. Finance Ministry suggested to double the price. Regarding the reserve price, Mr. Mittal said that they would go for pan-India operation if the reserve price is reasonable. The company’s finance is in good shape and it would be able to get investors to finance its 3G project. However, Bharti Airtel has no plans to raise funds in near future. Mr. Mittal also denied the foreign acquisition rumor at the moment. Bharti would not get into any developed countries as there are high risk factors.

Related articles:

Business Standard

(This entry was first published in February 2009. Because of a technical problem, the entry had to be deleted and I am reposting again now.)

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