Telecom

Airtel likely to offer 5G connectivity in India via higher priced 5G plans: Report

Airtel has also confirmed that tariff hikes are imminent. The statement comes at a time when Airtel is planning to roll out 5G service in India.

Published:Mon, August 22, 2022 2:33pm

By Shweta Ganjoo

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Bharti Airtel is scheduled to start rolling out 5G services in India sometime in August with the pan-India roll out taking place by March 2024. Ahead of the telecom giant commencing the roll out of its 5G services in India, reports have hinted towards Airtel offering 5G plans at a price that is much higher than the tariff plans for 4G connectivity in India. And now, the company has confirmed that Airtel will indeed offer 5G services at higher tariff plans in the country.

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In an interview with Live Mint, Bharti Airtel Vice-Chairman Akhil Gupta said that the company was leaning towards offering 5G connectivity at higher priced tariff plans than premium plans -- something that will make 5G accessible to a vast majority of people in the country. The idea that the company is banking on is that 5G will bring high speed internet connectivity to people, which in turn will increase their daily data consumption requirements and drive revenues for the company.

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"Anybody who has a 5G handset will get 5G. They will consume more and automatically go to a higher tariff plan. This would result in higher revenues," Gupta told the publication.

"I really don't think there is going to be something like a pure premium 5G. At best we could start giving 5G on slightly higher plans, but let the operating people decide what they want to do," he added.

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Gupta also confirmed that the tariffs will go up users in India in the coming days.

Telecom operators for long have argued that the Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) in India, which currently stands below Rs 200 in India is too low as per global standard. Telecom companies including Jio, Airtel and Vodafone Idea want to bring this up between Rs 300 to Rs 350. In this series, telecom companies announced the first round of tariff hikes in December last year. At the time, the companies had increased the tariffs by around 20-25 percent. They had also said that the second round of tariff hike will take place sometime in 2022.

Now, Gupta has confirmed that the tariff hikes might happen soon than later.

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