According to Gopal Vittal, chief executive officer (CEO), Bharti Airtel, telecom tariffs in India are low and should rise. Airtel does not believe in higher 5G tariff, but will continue to strive for overall hike in tariffs, while keeping the service most affordable and high quality, added Vittal.
Speaking during the company’s recent earnings call, Vittal noted that for the telecom industry to continue to invest and deliver the digital vision of India, the industry needs to be viable and cross subsidisation, therefore using the power of the balance sheet is not a sustainable proposition at the end.
He further added that Airtel will be reducing its expenditure on the upcoming spectrum auctions and subsequent sales over the next couple of years, as it does not require additional airwaves, but will renew spectrum in a few circles.
Vittal noted that capital expenditure (capex) on 4G and 5G, which has been advanced significantly in fiscal year (FY) 2024, will moderate starting FY25 as a majority of its rollout will be completed by March 2024. However, capex on data centres, home broadband and transport will remain at elevated levels.
Further, Airtel will adopt a strategy to deploy its fixed wireless equipment outside the premises and not inside since it had received feedback following the beta fixed wireless access (FWA) services launch that the quality of service drops when 5G is not available in a specific place.