Bharti Airtel on Monday said that it had launched its broadband services through franchise tie-ups in 11 cities across India. The company highlighted its Homes Services segment in its quarterly report for the period ended March 2020 that Airtel released on Monday. Airtel said that the revenue from its Homes Services which includes its fixed-line telephone and broadband offering touched Rs 5725 million. The revenues from its Homes Services represent a growth of 3% on a Year-over-Year (YoY) basis as Airtel reported revenues of Rs 5536 million in the quarter ended March 2019. Bharti Airtel said that its Homes Services covers 111 cities across India with a subscriber base of 2.41 million as of March 31, 2020.
Franchise Players Aids Airtel in Expanding its Presence
Crucially, Airtel highlighted that the company incurred capital expenditure of Rs 973 million in the fourth quarter ended March 2020 due to its expansion of high speed fibre. While the Airtel Homes Services now covers 111 cities across India, the Homes services covered 103 cities in the quarter ended December 2019. For the quarter ended March 2019, the Homes Services covered 93 cities representing an YoY growth of 18 cities.
“During the quarter, the company continued to upgrade its copper network to FTTH and also retooled the online feasibility process to help online acquisitions,” Airtel said on Monday.
The company highlighted that it has connected 180,000 homes through franchise tie-ups that the company tapped to expand its presence across India. Airtel said that it will continue to extend its presence in newer cities across India.
“Homes business continues to remain resilient and shows significant long term promise in the wake of the new normal of work from home and social distancing established post the COVID situation,” Airtel said.
Airtel Cuts Down on Homes Services Expenses
It has to be noted that Airtel incurred capital expenditure of Rs 2661 million on its Homes Services segment in the quarter ended December 2019 that the company attributed to fiber expansion.
However, the operating cash flow of the company improved to Rs 2038 million in the quarter ended March 2020 as compared to 642 million in the previous quarter.
Additionally, the company said that it added 63,000 customers to its Homes Services segment in the quarter ended March 2020. The average revenue per user (ARPU) was said to be Rs 803 as compared to Rs 787 in the previous quarter ended December 2019. The Homes Services segment represents 3% of the overall revenues of the company.
With Airtel providing a positive outlook for its Homes business, it remains to be seen if the segment gets additional focus in the upcoming quarters.
The company has provided several offers to new users of Airtel Xstream who have expressed interest in its services during the COVID-19 lockdown. Currently, Airtel is offering free installation and discount up to 15% on long term plans in several cities across India, a scheme that Airtel initiated in late April.
The company is also scheduled to launch its services in over 20 cities on June 1. Additionally, the company has an “invite now” tag assigned to several cities across India with Airtel asking the interested users to express interest in its services. The “invite now” tag covers cities including Alappuzha, Bellary, Cuttack and Guwahati.