Bharti Airtel, India's second-largest telecom operator, has been rolling out 5G since October 2022. The telco is one of the leading players in the postpaid mobile business. Vodafone Idea (Vi) is another company leading in the postpaid mobile segment in India. But Vodafone Idea (Vi) has not been able to launch 5G yet. Without any clear funding plans, it doesn't even look as if Vi would be able to launch 5G. This would give Airtel a good opportunity to bag premium or high-paying postpaid users from Vi who want to experience 5G. Since Airtel is offering 5G at no additional cost to 4G, the postpaid subscribers of the telco can seamlessly use 5G if they are under the 5G network coverage of the telco.
Airtel Could Become the Number One Postpaid Player, Beating Vi
Bharti Airtel could become the number one postpaid mobile services player in India. Currently, Vodafone Idea is slightly ahead in this department. Postpaid users are mostly more loyal than prepaid users. So once the postpaid players choose a particular telco, they stick with it until the time they have serious problems with the services in their area.
Adding more postpaid subscribers would help the telco in boosting its average revenue per user (ARPU) figure. It would be interesting to see if Airtel makes changes to the pricing or the benefits of its postpaid plans when the next tariff hike kicks in. While Vodafone Idea revamped its postpaid offerings in 2022, Airtel has not made any changes for a long-time.
Even in the prepaid segment, since Airtel and Vi have similar tariffs, customers could shift to Airtel as the telco is providing 5G at no additional cost. All of this would enable Airtel to boost its revenue market share in the coming years. Jio is not as dominant in the postpaid segment as it is in the prepaid.
Airtel has also tapped into the OTT (over-the-top) entertainment industry with the Airtel Xstream service. While Airtel doesn't produce original shows, it offers bundled or aggregated OTT services to consumers. This means that users can get several OTT platforms under a single platform of Airtel Xstream.
The telco is also growing its fiber broadband business fast by reaching more areas of the country with fiber and this is ultimately going to help Airtel in marketing the Airtel Black service to consumers. Airtel Black is a service offered by the telco wherein customers can get multiple services of Airtel, including DTH, broadband and mobile, under a single bill.
The aim of Airtel Black is to help the telco maximise revenues from every customer that's onboard. Airtel Black also promises other conveniences, such as a dedicated customer support team, very short IVR wait times, and more.