Bharti Airtel has reported a whopping 98% increase in its fourth quarter net profit at Rs 1,353 crore as its revenue increased by 58% to Rs 5393 crore. For the year ended March 2007, Bharti’s net profit increased 89% to Rs 4,257 crore while sales rose 59% to touch 18,520 crore.

Bharti chairman and MD, Sunil Mittal:

Hutch has given us the highest quality of competition and I don’t see Vodafone being any different. Despite competition, our marketshare has gone up significantly to 22.9% from 20.4% last year and we have also been able to increase our operating margin…

As we move forward into the coming years, I am very confident that India will have 500 million mobile phones by 2010

Key points:

  • Bharti Airtel added the highest ever net addition of 53 lakh customers in a single quarter (Q4-FY0607) and also the highest ever net addition of 1.8 crore total subscribers in 2006-07
  • The company will invest up to $3.5 billion this fiscal (07-08) in network expansion.
  • It has a installed base of 40,000 cellsites and 59% population coverage
  • After the proposed network expansion, an additional 30,000 towers will result in the company achieving 70% population coverage
  • Bharti has over 39 million users as on March 31, 2007
  • It has set a target of 125 million subscribers by 2010
  • Prepaid customers account for 88.5% of Bharti’s total subscriber base, an increase from 82.7% a year ago
  • ARPU has dropped to Rs 406
  • Non-voice revenues, (SMS, voice mail, call management, hello tunes and Airtel Live) constituted 10% of total revenues during Q4, lower than 10.7% in the Q4 of the previous year
  • Blended monthly minutes of usage per customer in Q4 was at 475 minutes
  • Has completed 100% verification of its subscribers and in the process disconnected three lakh subscribers

Sources: Zee and ET


Bharti Airtel has received approval to become the 5th operator in Sri Lanka. It will invest $150 million to start its 2G and 3G services in the country.

Outside India, Bharti Airtel operates in the Seychelles and the UK Channel Islands.

The other companies which placed their bids for the license were Reliance Communications and Maxis Telecom.

Sri Lanka snapshot:

  • 4.5 million mobile phone subscribers as of 2006
  • Telekom Malaysia’s Dialog Telekom is the top operator with 3.3 million subscribers
  • Followed by Mobitel, Celltel Lanka and Hutchison
  • Phone penetration at 20%
  • 3 fixed line operators


India’s largest mobile operator, Bharti Airtel has overtaken Hutchison Essar with regard to its average revenue per user (ARPU).

As per the latest data by the Cellular Operators Association of India, Bharti had an ARPU of Rs 343.17 per month for the quarter ended December 2006, ahead of Hutchison Essar’s Rs 340.15 per month. Hutch’s ARPU fell by over 9% in the quarter ended December 2006, while Bharti witnessed only a 1.5% fall in its average revenues during the same period.

The average industry ARPU has fallen to Rs 316 for the quarter ended December 2006 from Rs 356 in March 2006 – a fall of Rs 40 per subscriber and a decline of 11%. On the other hand, private operators have recorded a 10% increase in the revenues during the quarter ended December 2006.

Idea, Reliance Telecom and Aircel also saw a dip in their ARPUs compared to the Sep ’06 quarter.

  • Idea Cellular = Rs 276.66, a fall of 12.80%
  • Reliance Telecom = Rs 187.09, a fall of 25.48%
  • Aircel = Rs 226.91, a fall of 15.73%

BPL Mumbai and Spice Telecom are the only two operators to have registered an increase in their ARPUs during this period. BPL’s average revenues grew 27.40% to touch Rs 386.28, while Spice witnessed a 5.5% increase at Rs 241.79% for the quarter ended December 06.

Source: ET


Sunil Mittal Sunil Mittal has been adjudged “Asia businessman of the year” by Fortune magazine for making Bharti Airtel the telecom leader in India.

This Fortune article talks about how he built a mobile-phone empire by turning outsourcing on its head.

The epiphany.

The more he pondered, the more Mittal doubted his ability to build out a network fast enough to keep pace with all that growth.

“I was meeting with people from Orange, Vodafone (Charts), and T-Mobile,” he recalls, sitting in a bungalow on the outskirts of Delhi that serves as Bharti’s headquarters. “And I saw that these were huge companies, hugely resourced. And it began to dawn on me: I have to be like them. But could I afford to be like them? We’d need to hire 10,000 people, maybe 20,000, within two years. Did we have the resources to do that? Were we the best company to attract that kind of talent? The answer, clearly, was no.”

Bharti’s outsourcing model was the solution.

But Mittal figured he never owned the network in the first place. “If something goes wrong with my switch, there’s no way anyone from Bharti can do anything about it. An Ericsson guy is going to have to come and fix it. I don’t manufacture it; I can’t maintain or upgrade it. So I’m thinking, ‘This doesn’t really belong to me. Let’s just throw it out.”

Sunil shares a belief regarding his core strategy of partnerships.

And he ascribes much of his success to his refusal to tie up with other Indian firms. “It’s very hard for two Indians to partner well,” he says.

I like this oft-quoted quote.

Bharti’s initial estimate of $25 million to build a network in Delhi was too low by a factor of four. Says Mittal: “People told me this was a business for companies with deep pockets. Had we known how deep, we’d never have tried it.

Also Read: The making of Sunil Bharti Mittal


Bharti Global, the offshore investment arm of Bharti, has has won the second telecom licence to operate 3G and 2G mobile services in Guernsey, an Island located in the English Channel in Europe.

This is the third international telecom venture of Bharti, and the second in Europe.

In May 2006, Bharti bagged the license to operate full-fledged telecom services, including international long distance, in the southern most state of the British Isles – Jersey.

Telecom Seychelles, a subsidiary of Bharti Global, has been offering mobile and basic telephone services in Seychelles since 1998 under the Airtel brand.

But the award of license to Bharti has created a row, with telecom major Cable & Wireless threating legal action against the regulator OUR.

C&W said that the move could threaten the


Bharti Airtel has awarded to Ericsson a one billion dollar (Rs 4500 crore) contract extending over three years, for the expansion and upgrade of Bharti Airtel’s mobile network in 15 circles.

Last year Bharti Airtel had signed a 250 million dollar (Rs 1,075 crore) contract with Ericsson, to set up and maintain Airtel’s cellular network in 3,000 towns and villages across the country. In 2004, they had signed a 400 million dollar agreement for supply of GSM network.

Ericsson will also upgrade the network with mobile softswitch (Media Gateway and MSC Servers), the solution that paves the way to an all-IP network.

Ericsson already manages more than 70% of Bharti Airtel’s network in India.


Bharti Airtel Ltd, India’s top operator, has been ranked among the top 10 best performing IT companies in the world by Business Week.

Business Week ranked companies on four criteria — return of equity, revenue growth, shareholder return (given equal weight) and total revenue (which was weighted).

Describing the company as a highly innovative company, the magazine improved Bharti’s ranking from last year’s 19 to ten this year. The telecom service provider was the only Indian company ranked that has made it to the list, a company statement said here.

Source: ET


According to Sanjay Kapoor, Joint President, Mobility at Bharti the number of cellular subscribers in India will treble to 300 million in the next three to five years.

Bharti is confident of sustaining its addition rate of more than a million subscribers per month. Kapoor said Bharti’s net adds would continue to outpace overall new mobile user growth in the Indian market.

In the year ended March 2005, Bharti increased its net adds by 67 per cent, compared with the market’s growth of 55 per cent. In the year to March 2006, Bharti’s new subscriber growth was 78 percent, versus 73 per cent in the broader market.


For the first time, Sunil Mittal – chairman of the $2.7 billion Bharti Enterprises is revving up to launch cellular services under the Airtel brand banner in major overseas markets.

ET quotes Mr. Mittal saying:

“Bharti Airtel (formerly Bharti Televentures) is now ready to go international. The company is exploring opportunities to acquire overseas cellular licences to launch mobile services under the Airtel brand banner in key international telecom markets. Bharti is yet to identify the specific countries where it can launch mobile services,


Bharti Airtel has capital expenditure plans to the tune of $1.8-2bn for the current financial year.

The funding of the investments would be through internal accruals and any shortfall would be met through borrowings. There are no plans to raise additional equity.

The company aims to expand its network to cover the entire lot of 5,200 census towns in the country this year. At present, it has coverage in about 3,800 census towns.

With respect to the proposed launch of 3G services in the market, Bharti Airtel expected policy issues to be cleared by June and launch of its 3G service in the current financial year itself.

Announcing Bharti’s annual results, Sunil Mittal gave an insight into the expansion that took place last year:

“We put up 10,000 new base stations last financial year across the country which was about the same number that we installed cumulatively over the last 11 years put together.