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Airtel plans Rs24k Cr capex in FY19 to stay ahead in the 4G game

Airtel plans Rs24k Cr capex in FY19 to stay ahead in the 4G game

MUMBAI: Bharti Airtel plans to stay ahead in the 4G game and become the primary SIM for subscribers, a spot also coveted by Reliance Jio Infocomm(Jio) , Vodafone India and Idea Cellular.

The telco in an analyst presentation said that to achieve its target, it has a plans to entice customers to upgrade to 4G -with their device partnerships and special offers, retain them with postpaid offers, loyalty programs and use micro -marketing to cover all markets.

The Sunil Mittal owned telco’s plans will be backed by an estimated capex of Rs 24,000 crore in FY 19, to achieve its targets . The operator had a capex of Rs 23,968.2 crore in FY 18 , while competitor Jio had spent Rs Rs14,000 crore in the January-March quarter alone.

Shares of Airtel closed at Rs 376.10, down by 1.30% on the BSE on Wednesday.

Bharti Airtel , which is awaiting regulatory approvals to complete its buy out of mobility business of Tata Teleservices (TTSL), having closed its Telenor India acquisition , also mentioned its newer avenues of increasing revenues -Wynk and Airtel TV. Besides stepping the pedal on its broadband and direct to home (DTH) expansion, the market leader also wants to tap into areas revenue streams like Internet of Things (IoT) and cybersecurity.

Despite intense price aggression from new entrant Reliance Jio, Sunil Mittal-led Bharti Airtel took its revenue market share (RMS) to almost 32%, helped in part by its intra-circle roaming pact with Tata Teleservices. On the other hand, Jio’s revenue market share widened to almost 20% as of March end , Idea’s RMS slumped to 16.5%, while No. 2 Vodafone India’s share increased to 21%, just a shade above Jio.

With tariffs at an all time low and average revenue per user (ARPU) down by 20% in the last few quarters, established players and Jio are battling out with exclusive content offers to bag the data heavy users as subscribers .

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