Posts tagged ‘Airtel’
Southeast Asia’s largest telecommunications group, Singapore Telecom (SingTel), today reported that its aggregate regional mobile subscriber base stood at 232 million as at 31 December 2008, up 7.3% on a quarterly basis, and a 35% increase year-on-year. Despite stiff competition and the deepening global economic gloom, SingTel reported that each of its six mobile associates in the region – Thailand’s Advanced Info Service (AIS), India’s Bharti Airtel, Globe Telecom in the Philippines, Indonesia’s Telkomsel, Pacific Bangladesh Telecom (PBTL) and Pakistan’s Warid Telecom – posted double-digit subscriber growth ranging from 13% to 55% when compared to the same time at end-2007. Of these, India’s Bharti posted the single biggest jump in subscriber numbers to 85.65 million, up from 55.16 million as at 31 December 2007, SingTel said. The group’s wholly owned Ozzie unit Optus posted a 0.9% rise in mobile users over the year to 7.63 million, while in its home market SingTel had 2.94 million cellular customers, up 26% y-o-y. The Singaporean business also reported sustained demand for the Apple iPhone 3G device which helped push its domestic 3G mobile base up to 1.14 million, and 2.33 million for Optus in Australia.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.