Sunil Mittal, chairman of telecom service provider Bharti Airtel, says that the rates of mobile services are not logical right now. He said that it is difficult to stay in the market at the current rates, hence the hike in rates is inevitable. He said that market conditions would be looked into before taking any decision in this regard. Mittal said these things in an interview to PTI-language.
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Asked whether China’s telecom equipment manufacturers would be allowed to participate in the next generation 5G network, Mittal said the big question is the country’s decision. Whatever decision the country takes, everyone will accept it. He said, as far as the rates of telecom services are concerned, the company (Airtel) has made its stand clear about this. Airtel strongly believes that the rates should be increased.
Current rates not sustainable
Mittal said, “The current rates are not sustainable, but Airtel cannot take initiative on its own without taking the market or taking regulatory steps.” Industry will need to raise rates at one time. We have to look at the market conditions while doing so. Mittal was asked that what time seems inevitable for increasing the rates of telecom services in the Indian market and will Airtel take initiative in this direction or wait for the competitors to take steps?
Tragedy giving 16 GB data for 60 rupees a month
It is noteworthy that Mittal had made a comment about this in August this year. It is a tragedy to give 16 GB of data for a month at 160 rupees. The company maintains that the average revenue per customer for sustainable business should first reach Rs 200 and gradually increase to Rs 300. Bharti Airtel’s average revenue per customer (ARPU) stood at Rs 162 in the September quarter. This revenue was earlier Rs 128 in the June 2020 quarter and Rs 157 in the June 2019 quarter. Mittal once again reiterated the high tax rates and high tariffs in the telecom sector. He said that the telecom sector is the area with the need to invest more capital. This requires constant investment in networks, spectrum, towers and technology.