5G rollout in India to be delayed due to pandemic: Airtel

By VARINDIA - 2021-05-22

5G rollout in India to be delayed due to pandemic: Airtel

Gopal Vittal , CEO, Bharti Airtel said the launch of the next-generation technology could be deferred to the next financial year. The launch of the next-generation technology could be deferred to the next financial year.

 

“We were earlier under the impression that the 5G auction could happen by December. With the pandemic that has hit us, my sense is that the 5G rollout may get delayed by a few months. Whether this happens this fiscal or the next is something to be seen," Vittal said while addressing analysts during the post-earnings conference call .

 

In January, Bharti Airtel tested 5G on a live network in Hyderabad and said its network was fully ready for a commercial launch. While India’s second largest operator by market share claims to be ready for a 5G launch, the government has expressed its intent to roll out the service by the end of this calendar year or in early 2022.

 

Vittal said there is massive headroom for the growth of average revenue per user (ARPU) in the coming quarters. Vittal, in a post-earnings call earlier, had said the telco aims to reach an Arpu of ₹200 in the medium term and to ₹300 eventually.

 

During the March quarter, the company’s Arpu fell to ₹145 from ₹166 in October-December as the interconnect usage charge (IUC) regime, which contributes 7-8% in revenues across the telecom industry, ended on 1 January. However, the telco’s Arpu increased from ₹135 in the March quarter of fiscal year 2020.


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