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Airtel to raise tariff? Chairman Sunil Mittal says yes if other operators join in

Bharti Airtel will “not hesitate” to undertake a tariff hike, if other telecom operators join in, Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said on July 1.

Speaking to the media, Mittal said the tariff hike could not “be done unilaterally”. “We are not asking for a massive increase in tariffs, but we have to be mindful of the market,” the Business Standard quoted him as saying.

The last tariff hike by all three major operators in India – Bharti Airtel, Reliance Jio and Vodafone Idea was done in December 2019. Since then Airtel has indicated multiple times it wants another hike – but not on its own.

Making his case, Mittal said that the telecom industry was “under tremendous stress” and hoped that the government and authorities would focus on keeping “India’s digital dream intact through the three operators”, the report added.

Analysts, however, are not hopeful for a tariff hike and pointed out competition from Reliance Jio’s new cheap 4G phone with Google, which will be in the market by September 10.

Mittal was speaking to reporters after announcing OneWeb’s successful lift-off of 36 more satellites for its ‘Five to 50’ mission. Bharti-backed OneWeb is competing with Elon Musk’s Starlink in the space internet sector.

He added that investment plans in OneWeb had “advance conversations” and that companies “should break even 24 months date of full commercial service”. He further said the investment is “not a huge sum of money” but they can have “strategic participation from the right candidate at the shareholder table. Whatever has to be done will be done in July.” MoneyControl


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