Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal says 3G and 4G ecosystem is nascent

Bharti Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal says 3G and 4G ecosystem is nascent.

He did not specifically mentioned about investment plans for 3G and 4G. Also, Airtel CEO does not see too much scope for merger and acquisition in India — in line with Vodafone-Verizon deal in the U.S. ( Bharti Airtel in talks to acquire Loop Mobile )

Speaking to ET Now channel, Airtel’s new CEO said the telecom operator has cut back on discounted tariffs which, on voice on voice, are about 37 paisa, while the headline tariffs are 90 paisa.

Vittal said data is already growing at 17-20 percent quarter after quarter in terms of revenues and traffic.

Smartphones are driving the data growth. ( Airtel 3G grows 83 percent to 6.8 million subscribers in first quarter )

Second big driver of growth is the increasing adoption of 3G, while 2G is absolutely important in terms of growing data.

“The pace of adoption in rural areas is surprising, so is the adoption of mobile internet by young people living in small towns,” Vittal said.

Read the full interview here Bharti Airtel India CEO Gopal Vittal

According to Vittal, the policy on mergers and acquisition is still not entirely clear. “I do not know whether there is an opportunity for big bang acquisitions as far as we are concerned. In the course of the last five-six quarters, the top three players have actually garnered a significant share of the market and that is a passive consolidation,” Vittal said. earlier reported that Vodafone India has followed Bharti Airtel in unleashing a major campaign in Delhi that focused on their network quality — probably for the first time.

Airtel recently said India’s #1 telecom service provider’s IP-based network is designed to enhance the performance of smartphones. Whether it’s YouTube or Facebook, you’ll enjoy them best on Airtel 3G.

Airtel CEO on 3G

Last month, during the first quarter result, Airtel CEO said the company’s rival’s (Reliance Communications) 3G pricing is not sustainable.

Without referring to Vodafone, Vittal said: “If you look at 3G actually there are two parts to the rates, one is the pay as you go rate and here if you recall early in the quarter or last quarter we had actually brought down the pay as you go rates, so that was one thing that we had done and we done that largely on 2G as well as on where customers are buying packs we were actually reducing the pay as you go rates post the pack purchase.”

“As far as what one of our competitors have done, they have  reduced the pack rate and we will watch this very closely, at this point we believe that this is an unsustainable price to actually operate at, but we will watch this as we go forward, as you know this is the dynamic market and so we are watching this very carefully,” Airtel CEO said without referring to Reliance Communications’ 3G pricing.

[email protected]