Airtel to raise 3G charge to make up for higher spectrum cost

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Mumbai | Published: August 6, 2015 12:38:14 AM

Bharti Airtel, which had spent Rs 29,130 crore at the February spectrum auctions, will increase 3G data charge in phases in the current fiscal as it looks to fund higher spectrum purchase cost and raise profits, the company said on Wednesday.

Bharti Airtel, which had spent Rs 29,130 crore at the February spectrum auctions, will increase 3G data charge in phases in the current fiscal as it looks to fund higher spectrum purchase cost and raise profits, the company said on Wednesday.

Speaking to analysts, Bharti Airtel’s Global chief financial officer Srikanth Balachandran said the data price, which has been stagnant for last few years, will have to be raised to sustain the health of the sector. “We have to increase the data price so that the sector is able to fund the significant capex it deployed recently, a dominant part of which was utilised in spectrum purchases,” he said.

Bharti Airtel, in the last quarter, had raised 3G prices in certain circles for its pre-paid customers. Data contributed to 19.2% of the company’s mobile revenue in the June quarter, up 12.4% y-o-y.

Bharti Airtel will also earmark $3 billion (Rs 19,000 crore) for capital expenditure (capex) spending in FY16. While about $800 million (Rs 5,100 crore) will be used to fund the expansion of its Africa operations, a major chunk of the capex will be utilised to ramp up data infrastructure in India.

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