Airtel Will Not Shy Away From Raising Telecom Tariffs: Sunil Mittal

AirtelBharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal said that the industry can expect the base tariff to move from Rs 79 to Rs 99 and the telecom operator “will not shy away from raising prices. He highlighted the need to increase tariffs by as much as 33% by the end of this year, and eventually, doubling from the existing levels.

Mittal was speaking with investors a day after Airtel’s board approved raising up to Rs 21,000 crore by way of rights issue, at a price of Rs 535 per share. He said that the recent tariff hike in both postpaid and prepaid segments was received well.

Airtel is “happy to take baby steps” to raise tariffs. “We have seen the worst tariff war, and APRU contraction,” he said.

Mittal added that he expects the industry’s average revenue per user (ARPU) to rise to Rs 200 by the end of this financial year, and then inch to Rs 300.

To recall, Airtel’s ARPU for the quarter ended June stood at Rs 146.

In a bid to increase average revenue per user (ARPU), Airtel made some changes to its tariffs recently. Its minimum entry prepaid price will now start from Rs 79 vs Rs 49 earlier. On postpaid, it is moving all corporate entry plans to 299 from 199 while providing extra value.

Gopal Vittal, CEO of Airtel recently said that the recent tariff tweak for prepaid and postpaid services is a “small step” in the direction to increase ARPUs to Rs 200 and eventually to Rs 300.

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