Sunil Mittal, Bharti Airtel Chairman states need to hike tariff as current rates remain unsustainable

Sunil Mittal, chairman of Bharti Airtel said a telecom tariff hike is needed as unsustainable current rates and market conditions can be witnesses before a call is taken.

On the issue of Chinese telecom participation in the next-generation 5G network, Mittal commented that the larger question is that of the nation’s decision and asserted “what the country decides will be accepted by everyone.”

He took a firm stance on the increment of tariffs. Mittal said, “current tariffs are unsustainable but Airtel cannot move without the industry moving or the regulator moving.” He added, “we will have to see the market conditions to do it.”

Mittal had described 16 GB data consumption a month for Rs 160 as a tragedy. He asserted a company has to maintain average revenue per user and it should rise to Rs 200 and eventually to Rs 300 for a sustainable business model. Currently, Bharti Airtel’s mobile ARPU stands at Rs 162 for the September quarter from Rs 128 in Q2 FY20 and Rs 157 in June 2019.

The Bharti Group supremo is regularly drawn attention to the high taxes and levies in the sector. Mittal said, “the telecom sector is a high capital-intensive industry” and requires a steady flow of investment into networks, spectrum, towers, and technology.

Mittal said, “This industry needs tonnes of money, it is a high capital-intensive industry…buying spectrum, putting out networks, fibre, radio, towers is a continuous investment.”

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