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Davos 2023: Airtel is feverishly rolling out 5G

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The Airtel chief also highlighted that India Stack, the country’s digital public goods architecture, has attracted worldwide attention and is set to be exported to countries in Africa and Latin America.

Airtel is ‘feverishly rolling out’ 5G services as it intends to reach pan-India coverage by March of 2024, said Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal.

“We are feverishly rolling out 5G, starting with the key cities. We have a commitment that by March 2024, we should be able to complete our mission of 5G everywhere,” Mittal told Moneycontrol at the World Economic Forum annual meeting in Davos.

Earlier this week, Airtel announced the launch of 5G services in Agra, Meerut, Gorakhpur, Kanpur, and Prayagraj in Uttar Pradesh. The services are already live in Lucknow and Varanasi.

Mittal also indicated there was a positive sentiment for India at the annual meet of the global financial elite. “Everyone is talking about how confident Indian business leaders are here, especially compared to Western CEOs. India is in a good shape at the moment, with multiple tailwinds,” he added.

The Airtel chief also highlighted that India Stack, the country’s digital public goods architecture, has attracted worldwide attention and is set to be exported to countries in Africa and Latin America.

“Digital is an area in which I think India has very clearly realized it has an advantage. The India Stack is being talked about as a frugal stack serving 1.4 billion people, whether it’s identity or payment, or data storage. Everything is working seamlessly at a very low cost,” he added.

While he appreciated the government for making it easy to follow and implement rules and regulations despite a high degree of compliance requirements, the Airtel chief also expressed hope that Indian telcos will get a pricing mechanism.

“We all know that we need to have an ARPU (average revenue per user) of Rs 300 a month, which will still be by far the cheapest. India needs to have an appropriate pricing mechanism. I hope we will get to that point,” he said.

Talking about the telecom industry’s demands from the Union Budget, Mittal said that the government has a tough job as it has to listen to all sections of society. “ I think the industry will be taken care of. In the end, the industry must step up and fend for itself,” he added. Moneycontrol

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