Bharti Airtel has been vocal about the need for the industry tariffs to go up. Not just Airtel but also Vodafone Idea (Vi) has said that the current tariffs are unsustainable. Now, Sunil Bharti Mittal, chairman of Bharti Enterprises, said that the average revenue per user (ARPU) per month should touch Rs 300. Mittal said that even the ARPU of Rs 300 per month would still be cheap as consumers are using up to 60GB of data per month. Mittal believes that India needs to have an appropriate pricing mechanism. Talking to MoneyControl in Davos, Mittal said that Airtel should be able to roll out 5G across India by 2024.
Mittal on Vodafone Idea and BSNL
When asked about the struggling Vodafone Idea and Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited (BSNL), Mittal said that every company has to fend for itself as it is an industry which requires a lot of investment, especially with the rollout of 5G. Then there are other things, such as payments for new networks and payments for spectrum. Mittal said that it is a very serious capital-intensive industry.
Read More - 5G Users Won’t Want to Switch Back to 4G: Mittal
Airtel currently has the leading ARPU amongst all the telecom operators. Airtel's ARPU at the end of Q2 FY23 was Rs 190, while Reliance Jio's ARPU was Rs 177.2. Vodafone Idea's ARPU stood at Rs 131 during the same quarter. Airtel is the closest to the Rs 200 figure and should be able to cross that comfortably with a prepaid tariff hike.
Airtel has already toyed with the tariff hikes in two circles where it removed the base Rs 99 plan and made Rs 155 plan the new base option. The telco is already trying to see what would work well for the consumers and the business both. Airtel is deploying 5G non-standalone (NSA) networks, and the telco has so far launched 5G Plus services in 45 cities in India. In the coming days, more cities will get 5G from Airtel.