Airtel to focus on rural markets

  • Thread starter disher
  • Start date
  • Replies: Replies 0
  • Views: Views 6,342
Not open for further replies.


all in one!!
In the new year, Bharti Airtel’s has decided to focus on the rural market. While Airtel’s mobile services already cover around three lakh villages, the company plans to expand its network to 6.14 lakh villages over the next two to three years.

With the company gearing up to launch IPTV and DTH in the first half of 2008, media and entertainment products will be the thrust areas, positioning Airtel as a Lifestyle brand, Bharti Airtel president and CEO Manoj Kohli told ET.

Pointing out that infrastructure remains a major constraint for connecting rural India, Mr Kohli said Airtel will effectively deal with this constraint. “Even while going for a big push in rural connectivity, affordability will be a major plank for Airtel in villages,” he said.

The company is keen to make Airtel the most admired rural brand by 2010. By then, Bharti hopes to have a subscriber base of 125 million, from the present 54 million. Mr Kohli said Bharti will use Airtel brand for all its related future forays, including its proposed media and entertainment products. The company plans to launch iPTV next month, starting off from NCR. The DTH service will be launched in 2008. Bharti is also eyeing a share of the emerging mobile TV market, but it will prefer to wait until the government comes out with a detailed policy.

The company is already working on plans to take Brand Airtel outside India. And it has already been running two pilot projects on a minor scale in the international markets. “We are now ready to launch Airtel in Sri Lanka. Over the next couple of years we will be in a position to expand to neighbouring countries.” Mr Kohli said.

Simultaneously, the company is strengthening its enterprise solutions to corporates and high-billing customers by expanding its national connectivity to all major towns, in addition to global connectivity. “We already have two submarine fibre optic cable networks. We also plan to add three more to deliver efficient services to enterprises,” he said.

On the broadband segment, where the company has over two million subscribers, it intends to increase the speed of its network to 16 mbps, from the present 8 mbps. As for Tamil Nadu, Airtel has a market share of 27% of the mobile market. By March 2008, it hopes to increase its network to 6,700 sites in the state.

Source @ Airtel to focus on rural markets- Telecom-News By Industry-News-The Economic Times
Not open for further replies.