Technology

Bharti market leaders with 22.9 % share, net up 89 %















NEW DELHI: With the highest ever net addition of 1.8 crore customers a year in 2006-07, a rise of 59 per cent in revenue and a net profit rise by 89 per cent year-on-year, Bharti Airtel today announced that it would invest another 3.3 to 3.5 bn dollars in capex in India in the coming year.


Of the amount, 70 per cent would be spent on mobile connectivity and of the another 30,000 new base stations It plans to set up across the country, 70 per cent would be in the rural areas, which is what is really pushing the market, a buoyant Sunil Bharti Mittal said today.


Mittal added that Bharti Airtel has truly served the country‘s economic growth and that India today plays a key role in world telecom. He added that the new telecom story is on in which more minutes are being added every day and this comes from not just the new connections, but increase in telephone use by existing numbers.

 

Largely, India‘s unbelievable low tariffs have been responsible for this, and Bharti is fast approaching the magic figure of 23 per cent market share and can boast of one billion minutes a month.

 
The figures are enviable:


  • Overall customer base crossed 3.8 crore of which 3.2 crore is in mobile segment



  • Highest ever net addition of customers at 1.8 crore



  • Market leader with 22.9 per cent share



  • Revenue up by 59 per cent, standing at 18,520 crore


  • Cash profit up by 79 per cent, Y-o-Y



  • Net Profit up by 89 per cent Y-o-Y


  • EBIDTA of Rs 2,241 crore, up by 75 per cent

  • Rajan Mittal explained that the thrust of growth is the rural areas and small towns. He added that there has been Rs 32,000 crore investment already, and the company runs a 40,000 km of fibre optic network. The new areas for fibre optic network will be in the northeastern parts of the country.


    Interestingly, asked about competition from Vodaphone entering the Indian market, Sunil Mittal said: "You asking them or me?, but went on to say that Bharti would maintain its market share lead all the same.


    "Some other weaker players would have to yield that space, but we shall remain where we are," Mittal said.


    Bharti would participate in the 3G auction once the government clears the stage and allocate spectrum and would become early players in the segment, and also on the Wimax front, the company is watching the field and would take up the best technology, Akhil Gupta, one of the presidents of Bharti said.


    Regarding the government‘s decision to cap the number of players in each circle, Mittal said: "We are agnostic to the increase in the number of players, but we insist that there must be sufficient spectrum available for the existing players."


    Mittal said that Bharti looking for expansion outside the country, and the capex that has been committed already is not for that. "If there are good opportunities we shall look at funds and see how it works out."


    In terms tariff, however, Mittal did not feel that there is no scope for further reduction at all, and this is rock bottom.


    Agreeing that the tariffs were lowest in the world, Mittal said that 20 per cent of the tariff was in taxes, cess and license fees.


    "The government is likely to rationalise this structure, and as and when this happens, we shall pass on the benefit to the subscribers," Mittal promised.

     

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