Bharti Airtel chairman, Sunil Bharti Mittal has stated that the telecom operator will opt for the four-year moratorium for adjusted gross revenue (AGR) and spectrum payments as doing so would help free up Rs 350-400 billion in cash, to invest in network and technology. Further, the company’s board will take a call on converting interest on dues into government equity, which may lead to a maximum 2-3 per cent dilution.
Sunil Mittal described the government reforms as ‘seminal’ and a ‘game changer’, and promised to take the lead in uniting the industry and encouraging collaboration in areas of infrastructure sharing to reduce costs. He ruled out the possibility of any cartelisation. He said in a virtual briefing that conversations of collaboration will revolve around industry’s health and market distribution structure, but not on tariffs.
Mittal is reported to have approached Vodafone Group executive Nick Read to revive the ailing Vodafone Idea. He will also soon speak to Mukesh Ambani, chairman of Reliance Industries and discuss cooperation in areas such as sharing of infrastructure including fibre, data centres and market practices.