Posts filed under ‘Bharti’

Bharti Airtel reaches 100 mln mobile customers mark (India)

Indian operator Bharti Airtel’s subscriber base has crossed the 100 million mark, making it the world’s third largest in-country mobile operator, writes the Economic Times. The operator had 96.64 million subscribers on 31 March of this year. The milestone makes every fourth mobile phone user in India a customer of Bharti Airtel. Besides 25 percent subscriber share, Bharti Airtel has 30 percent market share in terms of revenue. The company has been adding more than 3,000 base stations in a month.

Wireless Industry News


May 15, 2009 at 22:57 Leave a comment

Airtel to spend $3.5 bn in FY’10 (India)

India’s largest mobile operator Bharti Airtel said on Thursday that it would invest about USD 3.5 billion in the next fiscal in telecom operations and in rolling out passive infrastructure. Bharti also said that it is on track to spend the same amount in the current fiscal.

“On mobile telecom operations-side the investment would be about USD 2-2.5 billion and the tower business-side between Bharti Infratel and Indus we should be spending between 2.5 and USD 3 billion in FY10. But in Indus (which is a tower tripartite venture of Vodafone Essar, Idea and Bharti) we have 42 per cent share so the exact investment in the tower business will come down to USD one billion making it the same as last year’s capex of USD 3.5 billion,” Bharti Enterprises MD Akhil Gupta said in New Delhi.

Overall capital expenditure will be USD 3.5 billion ballpark, but we will know the exact amount by the end of the next quarter, he said.

He said the company need not raise any funding for mobile operations but in the tower companies — Bharti Infratel and Indus — there will be a need to raise debt to fund the expansion.

While Indus has 93,000 towers, Bharti Infratel, which is a wholly-owned business of Bharti Enterprises, has 30,000 towers. Overall, Bharti’s share comes to 61,000 towers on a proportionate basis as it holds 42 per cent in Indus towers.

“Both will require debt funding,” he said but did not share the amount saying it is competitive information. Whatever required would be raised on need basis. Our net debt is very low — net debt to equity is just 0.19.”

Gupta ruled out any further stake sale for the moment in Infratel, which already has global investors like KKR, Singapore government’s investment arm, Temasek Holdings and other leading global investors hold about 10 per cent stake in Bharti Infratel.

New York-based private equity (PE) firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co (KKR) has invested USD 250 million (Rs990 crore) in Bharti Infratel Ltd. The arm attracts an enterprise valuation of the company of USD 12.5 billion.

“We raised some money last year from selling Bharti Infratel stakes… there is immediate plan to monetise its assets further,” He said.

He said Bharti did bid for the Iran license and it lost which ultimately went to Etisalat. “Either they were too aggressive or we were too mild,” he said. Bharti Airtel shares were trading at 4.87 per cent higher at Rs 612.

Wireless Industry News

January 23, 2009 at 20:27 Leave a comment

Bharti Airtel Q3 net up 38.34 per cent (India)

Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel on Thursday said its net profit for the third quarter ended December 31 rose by 38.34 per cent to Rs 1,976.41 crore.

The company had a net profit of Rs 1,428.56 crore for the same quarter in the last fiscal, Bharti Airtel said in a filing to the Bombay Stock Exchange.

Total income of the company rose to Rs 9,667.37 crore, up 39.90 per cent against Rs 6,950.14 crore for the corresponding period a year ago.

“Bharti Airtel continues to lead the telecom growth story adding customer and revenue market share despite intense competition. Bharti’s strategy of extensive roll out ahead of competition, especially in new villages, has yielded rich dividends,” Bharti Airtel Limited Chairman and Managing Director Sunil Bharti Mittal said.

For the nine month ended December 31, the company has posted a net profit of Rs 5,811.22 crore, up 29.23 per cent against Rs 4,496.53 crore for the same period last year.


Wireless Industry News

January 22, 2009 at 12:35 Leave a comment

Airtel, mCheck claim 1 Million user base for mCommerce services (India)

Bharti Airtel and mChek announced the tie-up clocked one million user registrations for its mCommerce services since launch of the services in June 2008.

We strongly believe that mCommerce will be one of the top 3 services offered over mobile in the future and going forward it has the power to facilitate a paradigm shift in the way consumers do commercial transactions and business,” said Sanjay Gupta, Chief Marketing Officer, Mobile Services, Airtel.

“Consumer adoption and repeat usage of the service has been extremely encouraging”, said Sanjay Swamy, CEO of mChek. “With the Reserve Bank of India’s mobile payments guidelines now in place, banks and merchants are fast adopting our open-platform to build a thriving eco-system, and a compelling suite of services for consumers.”

The tie-up also announced the launch of mChekMall which will be available on WAP and Java environments enabling Airtel subscribers to conveniently book flight, movie and other services through their mobile phones. All new Airtel SIM cards will come preinstalled with mobile payment capability.

Wireless Industry News

January 19, 2009 at 15:50 4 comments

India adds 8.12 mln GSM users in December

India has added a record 8.12 million GSM mobile users in December, according to data from the Cellular Operators’ Association of India. Total GSM mobile users at the end of December numbered 258 million, up 3.25 percent from 249.7 million in November. Bharti Airtel led the growth by adding 2.7 million new users, taking its total base to about 87 million. Vodafone Essar ranked second with an addition of 2 million users, taking its total base to about 60 million. Idea Cellular added close to 1 million subscribers, to take its total base to 38 million. BPL mobile has added close to 65,000 subscribers in December, a decline of about 9,000 users compared to about 74,000 in November. BPL mobile’s total subscriber base reached 1.9 million. Bharat Sanchar Nigam has added 800,000 users, taking its total base to 41 million.

Wireless Industry News

January 15, 2009 at 17:53 Leave a comment

Airtel launch goes to plan; Tigo notches up 2m users (Sri Lanka)

India’s Bharti Airtel launched 2G and 3G mobile services in Sri Lanka under the Airtel brand yesterday as planned, after investing half of a USD200 million network rollout budget taking it up to 2012. Airtel is the fifth cellular player on the island, competing with Malaysian-owned TM International’s Dialog Telekom, Tigo Sri Lanka, owned by Millicom International Cellular, Hutchison Telecom International’s local unit Hutch Lanka and Mobitel, a subsidiary of incumbent telco Sri Lanka Telecom. The Indian-backed cellco is expected to compete mainly on price. Commenting on the development, Bharti Group Chairman Sunil Mittal said: ‘It will be Airtel’s endeavour to drive affordability in the Sri Lankan market…We are confident that with our experience of 88 million customers, we will make a positive impact on the telecom land space of Sri Lanka.’ The company is offering simple tariff plans which do away with peak and off-peak call rates by offering standard tariffs throughout the day and night. Bharti has previously launched overseas mobile services on three other islands: the Seychelles, Jersey and Guernsey (both in the UK Channel Islands).

In other news, the country’s third largest cellco by user base, Tigo Sri Lanka reached two million subscribers by the end of 2008, reports Lanka Business Online. A statement from the company, formerly known as Celltel Lanka, attributed the growth to ‘network expansion, the strength of the brand and excellent customer service…The year 2008 saw heavy investment by the company to expand the network adding an average of 40 towers a month.’ Rapid growth in the island’s mobile market has slowed in recent years and increased competition saw all operators lowering prices and advertising aggressively to retain customers or win new ones. Tigo, like its rivals, offers free incoming calls and per second billing.

Wireless Industry News

January 13, 2009 at 19:02 Leave a comment

Airtel Launches Sri Lanka Ops; VAS & 3G Services, Free Sim Cards

Bharti Airtel has announced the launch of its Sri Lanka operations: via its subsidiary Bharti Airtel Lanka Pvt Ltd, Airtel is offering 2.5G and 3.5G services (HSPA). The services that have been launched are, predictably, GSM. The company will be investing around $200 million in its Sri Lanka operations.

Tariff Plans

What is interesting about the launch are the changes they claim to have made to standard tariff offerings in Sri Lanka – things that we here in India tend to take for granted:

– Same tariffs for peak and off-peak hours (i.e. doing away with the concept altogether)
– Unconditional free incoming calls
– Uniform call charges to any network

The company is also leveraging its network in India by offering 50% lower rates while roaming in India. Airtels network has been rolled out in Lanka over a period of a year – they have a three-year managed network deal with Huawei, partnered with IBM to manage its comprehensive IT infrastructure and application requirements, and selected iSmart Timex as its customer care partner.

Free Sim Card

Airtel took out ads in Sri Lanka offering Free Sim Cards between January 12 and 25; the connection gets activated on a recharge of Rs. 100. There have, apparently, been long queues outside Airtel’s office at Narahenpita, Colombo. So a price war is beginning in Sri Lanka now.

VAS Services

Airtel’s Sri Lanka site appears to be a work in progress, but we gleaned the following from the site:

– I-Moved is a service which allows users that have signed up for Airtel services to inform others.
– RingBack Tones: while no specific VAS company has been mentioned on the site, a statement on their site “BTSL will provide the backend pages for this and we need “Airtel Ring back Tune Search” as a button to click.” indicates that Bharti Telesoft may be powering CRBT for Airtel Lanka
– SMS services – the usual: News, Jokes, Astrology, Lottery Results, Sports, Health and Stock Markets.
– Voice SMS
– Voice Mail

3G Services

– Video Media Portal:  dial 7561 as a Video call for the video portal
– 3G Broadband (mobile phone access)
– Phone Backup Service
– 3G Data Services (USB/Router based)

Why Enter Sri Lanka?

The Teledensity in Sri Lanka appears to be quite high at 61.3%, with 45.7 mobile phones per 100 people and  9,253,067 subscribers. There are already4 other mobile operators in Sri Lanka, and the country has 3G: 

Mobitel (Sri Lanka Telecom)

Some market stats (Q2 2008):

Total Telecom subscribers (Fixed+Mobile): 12,399,024
Total Teledensity (Fixed & Cellular): 61.3%
Fixed Line Phones: 3,145,957
Fixed Line Teledensity: 15.5%, 36.4% in Colombo District
Cellular Mobile Subscribers: 9,253,067
Mobile Phones per 100 people: 45.7
Internet & Email Subscribers: 215,000

Wireless Industry News 

January 12, 2009 at 15:58 Leave a comment

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