Bharti Airtel has been in the Indian Telecom market for a long time now. The telco has seen the worst and the best of being in a competitive market such as India. It has survived every scenario and come out thriving because of the strategic approach it has towards everything it does. Today, one of the biggest aims for Bharti Airtel is increasing its average revenue per user (ARPU). Now that doesn’t happen in a day. It takes time, and the telco can’t aggressively hike tariffs if the other operators are silent about it.
However, Airtel has a solid strategy when it comes to increasing ARPU.
Bharti Airtel Aiming to Convert Over 100 Million Feature Phone Users to Airtel Black Customers
As said above, nothing gets done in a day. Everything takes time, and it is the focus on the process that helps companies win in the long run. Bharti Airtel has over 100 million feature phone users in its subscriber base.
The telco is currently trying to upgrade them to 4G. Airtel recently announced a 4G smartphone offer which includes a cashback of Rs 6,000. In the recent earnings call, Gopal Vittal, CEO of Bharti Airtel, said that the smartphone offer is seeing high interest among users. This is a positive sign for the company as the offer might convert some of its feature phone users to 4G device owners.
Just the conversion of feature phone users to prepaid data customers would affect the telco’s ARPU by a huge margin positively. The next step would be to push these users to purchase postpaid services. Postpaid services are looked at as more a premium network service. While that is not entirely true, the companies try to portray that only.
If Bharti Airtel is successful in converting 4G prepaid users to 4G postpaid users, it would again affect the telco’s ARPU positively. But the ultimate service that Airtel has for increasing ARPU is Airtel Black.
Airtel Black has multiple services inside it. But to be an Airtel Black customer, one needs to have a postpaid connection from the company. If more and more people onboarded to Airtel Black service, it would increase the telco’s ARPU by a large number. This is Airtel’s long-term play with the current smartphone offer and the Airtel Black service.
Airtel will also be able to increase its ARPU with the help of highly-priced 5G services. While that is something still yet to arrive, it will definitely have a positive impact on the telco’s ARPU.
Gopal Vittal has already said that Airtel’s ARPU goal for the long-term is Rs 300 and for the short-term is Rs 200.