Bharti Airtel says it sees data and value added services as the biggest opportunities in India now and in upcoming future. In India we have more than 900 million mobile users and among which Bharti Airtel is the number one telecom operator in terms of both revenue and subscriber base but still then 3G is not that popular in India. Recently, Bharti Airtel and several other operators including Idea Cellular, Vodafone, Aircel, Reliance Communications, BSNL and MTNL announced their price cut in 3G data tariffs.
“The best way to combat the challenges presented by declining tariffs, growing network operating expenses and high regulatory costs is to look to these areas for future growth,”� said Sanjay Kapoor, CEO of Bharti Airtel – India and South Asia.
Bharti Airtel is the first Indian operator to launch TD-LTE service in India. The mobile giant recently launched 4G in Kolkata and Bangalore. Providing affordable Internet access to existing urban customers through broadband wireless will be critical but rural areas could be even more important because fixed broadband is also not growing significantly and current status say that the number of broadband users is around 14 million.
Kapoor also added while there is untapped potential in India’s expansive rural markets in the voice segment, the next big thing after the success of the voice story in India could be data.
Rural mobile penetration currently stands at just under 40 percent, leaving significant room for network expansion. The ability to make large investments in the network is required particularly in India to take broadband to the masses. Indian operators are in the process of expanding their 3G networks across the country.
“Considering the high cost of operation and infrastructure required for rural expansion, the mobile platform is the most efficient and effective way to offer various services like financial inclusion, health and education in rural India,” he said.