Airtel Voice RPM declined due to higher competitive intensity in a few circles. Recently, competition increased from leading players as opposed to smaller players in the past. In the medium-to-long term, voice RPM needs to rise though there may be quarterly fluctuations. The management was very clear in stating that their goal is to increase both revenue growth as well as market share and to this end current voice prices are unsustainably low. They also said that they were disappointed that voice prices have eroded substantially Continue reading Airtel Voice RPM Down + 900Mhz for LTE in Future
The management of Bharti Airtel will attempt acceleration of India capex in FY16 by an additional $200-400m. Airtel will have enough capacity (~120,000 BTS in 3G or 4G Coverage Pan India. Currently, it has 62,000 3G BTS and an estimated 20,000+ 4G BTS) by Q1-2016, leaving it comfortably ahead of Reliance Jio which will kick-off operations with around 75,000 LTE Towers when it launches next year. Airtel has spectrum in 900Mhz suitable for 3G and is branded as Airtel 3G Platinum while the 2100Mhz 3G is simply branded as Airtel 3G. 3G rollout also results in higher voice quality as voice from smartphones is Continue reading Airtel 3G / 3G Platinum / 4G LTE Pan India Coverage by Q1-2016
The management of Bharti Airtel is optimistic about 3G Data Revenues which was seen at 20% q-q growth in Q4-FY2013. This should continue to grow, partly also driven by improving coverage. Current 3G coverage is at 30% of its 2G coverage. This means Airtel 2G/ 3G Data services will grow at double the Industry Average
Airtel management believe there is room for 2G and 3G data pricing to converge – for the end user, the technology (2G or 3G) which is being used for accessing data services is not relevant; however, rising 3G handset proliferation would give the company better flexibility in efficient use of spectrum. Airtel shrugs off any impact of scrapping of 3G Intra-Circle roaming arrangements because its 3G spectrum covers 70% of its Revenue Base.
The absence of interconnect on data as well as payper- use characteristics of the Indian market bodes well for the margins. Cellcos are still just access providers, though their role is likely to transform as data penetrates further and more applications come on board.
Airtel, like Idea Cellular is focused on pulling back promotional minutes in the system rather than taking up headline tariffs further, as current headline rates already imply a yield which is above the 34 paisa that telcos are realising on average for voice.
Airtel 4G LTE service is available in four markets, namely, Kolkata, Bangalore, Pune, and Chandigarh, Mohali and Panchkula. Initial experience has been good thus far, although coverage isn’t ubiquitous yet as 2300Mhz would need lot more sites. More cities where the services will be rolled out will be published soon here with coverage maps.
The DoT in 2008 allowed intra-circle roaming allowing operators [See Below] to enter into mutual commercial interconnect deals. Further in Queries & Responses prior to the 3G & BWA Auction, DoT clearly states in response to Question 12 as below,
12. Will intra circle roaming be allowed in areas where an operator does not have a 3G network?
Response: Intra-circle roaming will be governed by the UAS/ CMTS licence provisions and applicable Government regulations.
Further in Question No 48,
DoT order No. 842-725/2005-VAS/269 dated 12th June 2008 allows intra-circle roaming amongst UASL licensees. After 3G auctions not all existing UASL licensees will hold 3G spectrum in any licensed areas due to the limited 3G blocks on offer. Will customers of UASL licenses who do not hold 3G spectrum be allowed to roam on the 3G networks of other UASLs in the same licensed area? Response: The roaming policy is applicable to the licences and not to specific spectrum bands. Hence, roaming will be permitted. However, at present, mandatory roaming or MVNO is not part of the Government’s telecoms policy.
In Question 230 again,
Will intra-circle roaming be allowed for 3G & BWA?
Response The provision for intra-circle roaming is as applicable to the service licence, and is
not different for/ specific to the spectrum being currently auctioned.
From the above it is amply clear that DoT had given specific clarification that its policy allowing roaming was applicable to service licenses and was irrespective of spectrum band. 3G services have no separate license and 2G is different from 3G only because of the spectrum band. 2G services are offered in the 900 MHz and 1800 MHz bands while 3G spectrum was auctioned in the 2.1GHz band. Operators assert that roaming is different from spectrum sharing or trading, as spectrum remains with the roaming provider.
Airtel further argue that selling 3G SIMs in markets where they do not have 3G spectrum of their own is not a violation, as there is no generation of new radio access network and new numbering, and the spectrum stays with the operator who owns the 3G spectrum.
Indian Policy Makers except the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India [Dr.Singh] seem to have vested interest and are potentially highly corrupt twisting laws and regulations to favor a select few. I’m not aware of what changes DoT may have made in the Licenses so as to favor Reliance and Ambanis. With such pathetic Policy Makers / Politicians, Supreme Court of India is the only hope for justice.
Hopefully, 3G Intra-Circle Roaming arrangement stays and we continue to add more Indians on 3G Highway 🙂
Airtel today announced the results for quarter ending Sept-2012 and also disclosed lot of details on the company’s strategy and 3G / 2G Data and other metrics. Without getting into the financials lets straight away get into Data / Broadband, which is of prime importance to us.
Airtel DSL Broadband division has 1.38 Mn Subscribers / Customers with ARPU of Rs 971.
Airtel 3G / Data
- Airtel has overall 40.6 Mn Data Subscribers
- Airtel 3G Network has 4.01 Mn Data Subscribers
- 2G and 3G together subscribers consume 15,879 Mn MBs in the last quarter bringing the Average Data Usage Per Customer to 133 MB
- Data ARPU at Rs 43 and Realization Per MB is 32.4 Paise [This is far better than Rs 250 / GB of 3G data which yields only 24.45 Paise ]
- Data as a percentage of Wireless Revenues is 5.2%. Total Non-Voice [Data + VAS + SMS] as a percentage of Wireless is 16.8%
Airtel Management on 3G Data and related matters Continue reading Airtel 3G Data Usage Picking up, Upbeat on 3G Data / Apps Prospects – Export Spectrum From Africa to India