After a few weeks of Reliance Industries Limited posting its quarterly report, Bharti Airtel, in a BSE filing, has also revealed its numbers for the first quarter for Financial Year 2022. Also, it goes without saying that Bharti Airtel has impressed its shareholders with the numbers; however, we are here to look beyond the numbers and to see what might have worked well for the company and what might have made the sought after metric of Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) fall in the court of Bharti Airtel. To give you an insight, Bharti Airtel’s quarterly revenues were Rs 18,828 crore which was up by 19.2% YoY on a comparable basis. On the B2B side, Airtel revealed that Airtel Business revenues were up by 8.2% YoY on the back of industry-leading and innovative enterprise connectivity solutions.
Airtel’s Impressive Numbers
Apart from the highlighted numbers, coming to the crucial ones when it comes to the telecom business of Airtel, the Sunil Bharti Mittal led company revealed that 4G customers were up by 46.1 Mn YoY to reach 184.4 Mn, 57% of the overall customer base. Also, the Mobile ARPU was pegged at Rs 146 vs Rs 138 in Q1’21 on a comparable basis. This highlights that for Bharti Airtel, the ARPU has gone up by Rs 8 in a single quarter. To put that into perspective, Reliance Jio’s ARPU rise was only a fraction of this quite literally and still hung under Rs 140. We have previously discussed how Bharti Airtel and Reliance Jio are taking different approaches to the same goal of higher ARPU. While Reliance Jio has focused on adding more numbers to its subscriber base, Bharti Airtel has just gone for the kill by charging its subscriber base righteously.
Reasons for High ARPU
Bharti Airtel’s launch of services like the Black postpaid plans seems to be one of the drivers here. It’s quite possible that a lot of customers who were on standalone postpaid services migrated to Bharti Airtel’s other platforms, including Digital TV and broadband, because of this impetus from the company, thus pushing the ARPU upwards. Also, we saw the removal of some of the low-range prepaid plans by Bharti in the last few months. The removal of low-range prepaid plans has likely ticked the public to move for longer-term recharges with more benefits and to shell out more money on a per-user basis, thus giving a further rise to ARPU. Not only this, but the introduction of plans with OTT benefits is another reason why the ARPU has likely seen a rise.
Active Subscriber Base Strong for Bharti Airtel
Bharti Airtel has also invested in the additional spectrum and has kept its network going strong with additions to its subscriber base, and hence that has been the reason why Reliance Jio, despite having more subscribers, is still behind Bharti Airtel when it comes to active subscribers. This is another reason why Bharti Airtel’s ARPU stays ahead since it simply has more paying subscribers, and its premium services are helping the telco charge likewise from the customers. The linear growth in data demand is also one effect that can be seen on Airtel’s network as the company noted that Monthly Mobile Data consumption per customer grew to 18.5GBs, up by 13.7% YoY.