According to a CLSA report, the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic is likely to be moderate on Bharti Airtel as the operator’s December prepaid tariff hikes of 20-30 per cent would drive near and medium-term growth.
The report also noted that even though risk of lower-end subscribers down-trading and dual SIM reduction is a possibility, a surge in data usage among subscribers is also likely. However, Airtel’s subscriber additions and 4G data upgrades will be hit by lockdowns and contained consumers from mid-March.
A report by ICICI Securities also highlighted that the coronavirus outbreak will have little impact on the Bharti Airtel’s mobile and other businesses. In fact, with many subscribers working from home and communicating virtually, a boost in mobile volumes is anticipated.
However, the benefits from such a boost are expected to be limited owing to the significantly generous allowances in voice and data being offered by the operator at present. Further, crude price and currency volatility also pose risk to Bharti Airtel.