Report on Shemaroo

Gopal Vittal’s take on the potential of Airtel’s home broadband, DTH biz

The bundled services reduce consumer churn dramatically


KOLKATA: Airtel India boss Gopal Vittal remains bullish on the company’s home broadband business after adding the highest ever 2.15 lakh users in the third quarter of FY21. To exploit the opportunity in the growing segment, Airtel will leave no stones unturned to expand its footprint through a combination of direct rollout as well as local cable operator (LCO) partnership model.

“Home broadband category is at the cusp in terms of growth. Ever since the Covid crisis and growth of work from home, study from home, there has been an explosion of home broadband. The increased penetration of streaming services has also resulted in acceleration of home broadband,” Bharti Airtel India and South Asia MD & CEO Gopal Vittal said in an earnings discussion.

The telco’s home broadband entered another 74 cities in Q3 FY21, taking its total geography of operations to 219 cities, mentioned Vittal. Additionally, the company also rolled out the local cable operator model, which he called a significant “breakthrough” enabling accelerated growth in the home broadband segment.

“We have now got hundreds of local cable operators over 100 cities and planning to get about 1,000 cities in a year. We will look at a combination of where we can do our own rollouts in top cities, partner with local cable operators for the last mile in smaller cities,” he remarked.

Vittal went on to add that home broadband gives the company an opportunity to have a deeper relationship across the entire portfolio of mobility and entertainment. Airtel has witnessed that where it is able to bundle services with an integrated suite of products across entertainment, mobility, broadband, it observes a dramatic reduction in churn, increase in ARPAU (average revenue per account) or average revenue per home.

The Sunil Mittal-owned telecom operator posted a Rs 853.6-crore profit in the quarter ended December, and its revenue rose to the highest ever at Rs 26,518 crore.

However, despite adding a record number of subscribers, the home broadband revenue did not show concurrent gains. Bharti Airtel India and South Asia chief financial officer Badal Bagri attributed it to price revision in the segment. The adoption of downward revision was done in the third quarter majorly. The similar trend of adoption might be noticeable in the next quarter as well.

Vittal is optimistic about opportunities in the DTH business as well. According to him, the structure of the DTH industry is still attractive in the medium to long term. One of the reasons is, the price structure is much cheaper for linear TV compared to any other market. Moreover, there is a very fragmented cable market and Vittal added that the performance and response of cable operators is poorer compared to DTH players. Hence, the upside opportunity to convert from cable is high.

Last year, Airtel launched the One Airtel plan bringing DTH, postpaid, broadband under one billing. Although he did not reveal subscriber numbers, he added that the subscriber base is already material. Due to the bundled offering, users went for at least one extra service. The ARPU in the home broadband segment is upwards of Rs 500-600.

Latest Reads

Subhash Chandra denies rumors related to Dish TV India

KOLKATA: Dish TV India promoter and managing director Jawahar Goel has offered a substantial portion of his equity in the DYH operator as security for the credit facilities availed by Essel Group (Subhash Chandra Group). The group will return the security cover soon, Subhash Chandra Group official...

DTH DTH Operator
In nostalgia trip, Tata Sky Seniors brings back hit DD show Swabhimaan

New Delhi: The 90s’ hit Doordarshan soap Swabhimaan directed by Mahesh Bhatt and Debaloy Dey has returned to the TV screen after a long gap of 25 years. The show is being exclusively aired on Tata Sky Seniors. The iconic drama that ruled the afternoon primetime on television screens in the 1990s...

DTH DTH Operator
Tata Sky paints murals in homage to Gujarati cinema actors

NEW DELHI: Tata Sky is painting the town red, quite literally. The DTH operator has launched a unique mural campaign in Gujarat to bring alive the local flavour by associating with popular regional film stars.  The campaign also embodies the concept of khidki that was introduced in the new brand...

DTH DTH Operator
Pay-TV revenue to grow at 7 per cent CAGR over 2020-25: MPA report

New Delhi: India is among a handful of countries where there is great scope for further penetration of television. Since the turn of the millennium, pay-TV connections have more than doubled in Indian households, though data in the public domain indicates there still remain an additional 100...

DTH DTH Services
DD Free Dish adds six new MPEG-2 slots

KOLKATA: Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati's free-to-air DTH platform service DD Free Dish has added six new MPEG-2 slots, on the back of having surpassed an estimated 40 million subscribers. The move comes at a time when the platform witnessed a significant jump in the overall sales of MPEG-2...

DTH DTH Operator
Dish TV granted in-principle approval for 20-year DTH licence

KOLKATA: Popular direct-to-home (DTH) operator Dish TV has renewed its DTH license for 20 years, subject to completion of necessary formalities. Dish TV informed the stock exchange in a regulatory filing that it has received in-principle approval from the ministry of information and broadcasting (...

DTH DTH Operator
DD Free Dish now in 40 million households

NEW DELHI: Public broadcaster Prasar Bharati's free-to-air DTH platform DD Free Dish has continued its strong growth trajectory and the service’s subscriber base has crossed an estimated 40 million, according to the EY FICCI Media Entertainment Report 2021.

DTH DTH Operator
Celebrate World Theatre Day with these plays available on Tata Sky Theatre

NEW DELHI: Theatre has always been a significant place to present ideas and ideologies before the audience. Hence, people started celebrating World Theatre Day on 27 March to generate awareness about the importance of theatre arts. Commemorating the occasion, Tata Sky Theatre powered by Zee Theatre...

DTH DTH Operator
Kotwali Police Station in Ludhiana busts illegal STB racket

KOLKATA: A store in Ludhiana, PAL Electronics, was raided by Kotwali police station on 16 March, after Sony-appointed raiding agency Mediasoft Legal Solution’s service manager Harminder Singh complained that pay channels of Sony, Star, Zee and other major broadcasters were being sold via...

DTH DTH Operator

Sign up for our Newsletter

subscribe for latest stories

* indicates required