Airtel to charge more, 5G rates minimal for now

According to a Bharti Airtel official,l the company will maintain the same 5G and 4G rates for another six to nine months before deciding whether to fix 5G rates separately. Though it was emphasised the necessity for current tariff levels to increase in a call with investors on Tuesday following the company’s second-quarter earnings.

It was also noted that only a small percentage of clients of local carriers chose the more expensive 5G contracts in nations including the US, Thailand, and South Korea that had priced 5G differently from 4G.

In support of Airtel’s plan to maintain the same 4G and 5G pricing, he noted that the operator aimed to eventually utilise up all of its 5G capacity before re-farming the 4G spectrum to use it for 5G as well.

According to the source, Airtel might overtake Vodafone Idea in the short term by taking advantage of its financial difficulties, particularly in the postpaid market, which has a bigger number of premium consumers.

In the three months that concluded on September 30, Airtel added more than 300,000 postpaid clients, bringing the total to 31.5 million, which it claimed to be the largest base of postpaid consumers in the market.

According to the official, the carrier has begun testing the rival Reliance Jio’s pan-Indian standalone 5G or 5G SA technology architecture, which he claimed will be suitable for enterprise use cases.

According to prior statements made by Airtel officials, the carrier will eventually relocate to South Africa (SA) based on demand. Still, in the short- to medium term, it will employ the non-standalone (NSA) architecture.

Additionally, the carrier is exploring fixed wireless access (FWA) services using its mmWave spectrum.

It was added that Airtel would install low-cost sites to increase its coverage of rural areas, enabling it to profitably gain market share.

In comparison to the same quarter last year, Bharti Airtel’s consolidated net profit increased by 86% to $2,145 crore for the quarter that ended in September 2022. It also increased by 33% from the profits of $1,607 crore for the preceding quarter. Over 22% more was made in revenue, or $34,526 crore.