All 5G smartphones except iPhone will work on Airtel network from mid-November: CEO of Airtel
All 5G-enabled smartphones except Apple’s iPhones will begin supporting Airtel’s 5G services by mid-month, a senior Bharti Airtel official said.
During the company’s earnings call, Bharti Airtel, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer Gopal Vittal, said that Apple will release the software update in the first week of November and that all of its devices should support the company’s 5G services by mid-December. .
Airtel will provide 5G services at 4G rates, but it is likely to rely on next-generation service pricing in the next 6-9 months, he added.
“Samsung… I think there are 27 models of 5G. 16 models are already ready and enabled. Rest will be done by November 10-12. OnePlus all 17 models will work on our network. Vivo all 34 models, Realme all 34 models” will work on our network. Xiaomi’s all 33 models and Oppo’s all 14 models will work. Apple has 13 models. They will be out (software update) around the first week of November and they should all be ready by mid-December,” Vittal said.
According to market research firm IDC, 5.1 crore 5G smartphones have been shipped from 2020 to the first half of 2022 and are expected to exceed 50 percent market share by 2023.
However, several 5G smartphones have been unable to access 5G services due to a lack of compatibility between the network and the mobile phone.
Vittal said the company expects to cover all cities in urban India as well as key rural areas by March 2024.
He said the company is in the construction phase of the 5G network and “then we’ll make a decision on what to do, possibly in the next 6-9 months.”
“As the network begins to build, we will see a significant portion of our existing data traffic on 4G move to Airtel 5G plus. This is important as it will allow us to gradually move more and more spectrum to We have also started testing SA mode (standalone) on 5G. This mode may be relevant for some business use cases,” he said.
Bharti Airtel can make earmarked network investment of 23,000-24,000 crore per year to accelerate the rollout of 5G services and gain market share.
Without mentioning the debt-ridden Vodafone Idea, Vittal said: “Given the financially difficult situation one of the industry players is going through, we believe the time is right for Airtel to go ahead and become the decisively most ambitious brand. in India. With this we hope to take a further lead, especially in the postpaid segment.”
Bharti Airtel posted an 89 percent year-over-year increase in consolidated net profit for the September quarter on 2,145 crore, as higher revenue per user, increased data usage and expanded 4G base fueled the realizations.
Airtel’s total revenue increased nearly 22 percent year-on-year to 34,527 crore during the quarter just ended.
The company attributed this to “strong and consistent performance delivery across its portfolio and reaching 500 million customers worldwide”.
Net profit in the second quarter fell short of street expectations, although sales came in ahead of market estimates.
Average revenue per user or ARPU (an important measure of telcos) was 190 for the last quarter compared to 153 in Q2 FY22, helped by focus on quality customers, feature phone to smartphone upgrade and data revenue, Airtel said.
Vittal said the company has only 8.5 percent return on investment, which is very low and can be achieved by investing in financial instruments.
“This return on capital needs to go up. We’re not talking about massive corrections. We’re already up 190 ARPU. We need to see one correction round. When this will happen, I dare not say. We look at this space and see when the time is right,” he said.