Sunil Mittal, an Indian billionaire and chairman of Bharti Enterprises, said Thursday that the telecom industry is under immense pressure.
Telecom Industry Under Stress
By providing at least three operators, he hopes the government can keep India’s digital dream alive.
The Telecom czar acknowledged that telecom tariffs need to go up and that Airtel would “not hesitate” in this regard.
However, he also quickly added that it could not be done “unilaterally” while speaking to reporters at a virtual event of OneWeb, a satellite communications company led by Bharti Global and the UK government.
Further, Bharti Airtel Chairman Mittal said, “to say the telecom industry is in a bit of trouble is actually an understatement. It is in a tremendous amount of stress. I hope the Government, the authorities, and Telecom Department focus on this issue and ensure India’s digital dream remains intact through the provision of at least three operators,”.
Bharti Airtel Strongly Positioned
According to Mittal, Bharti Airtel has raised funds timely and adequately through equity and bonds.
He asserted that the company is strongly positioned to serve the market in the coming years.
Mittal said, “We never went into the woods at all. We are a strong company, many a time we are underestimated in our resolve,”.
Moreover, he conceded that the last 5-6 years had been brutal and pointed out that the results are for all to see.
He added, “Ten operators gone out of business, two merged together…gasping for breath right now,”.
Raise In Terrific
According to him, the industry needs to be healthy for embarking on 5G services and deliver on India’s digital dream.
On the subject of whether the company will look at raising tariffs, Mittal said, “We will not hesitate to do it, but it can’t be done unilaterally”.
He said, “how long can you keep on killing each other, the point is when you have a return on capital, even by the best operator, at low single-digit and most of them struggling….I am not saying …raising tariffs always sounds bad…just bring it back to where it was…enjoy 15 times consumption, but at least come back to old tariffs,”.