Bharti Airtel remained the fastest network during the Q3-Q4 period of 2018 in India with 4G LTE speed of 11.23 Mbps, followed by Vodafone with 9.13 Mbps speed. Reliance Jio and Idea Cellular ranked third and fourth respectively, a report by Ookla said on Tuesday. Ookla’s findings revealed that Reliance Jio ranked first with 98.8% on 4G availability across the country, followed by Airtel at 90.0%, Vodafone and Idea with 84.6% and 82.8% respectively, across 15 largest cities of India. On general availability front too, Jio’s topped the list with 99.3% followed by Airtel at 99.1% and Vodafone at 99%.
Bharti Airtel on Friday said that its subsidiary, Airtel Networks Kenya (Airtel Kenya), has signed an agreement with Telkom Kenya for merging their respective mobile, enterprise and carrier services businesses in Kenya. The company however, did not disclose any investment amount. The merged entity, Airtel-Telkom, will have a combined market share of over 31%. The entity will further invest in networks to accelerate the roll out of future technologies. However, the approval from the relevant authorities is awaited. As of end September, Airtel Kenya voice and mobile data market shares stood at 33% and 22% respectively.
Moody's Investors Service has turned its rating outlook for Bharti Airtel to 'Negative' and downgraded the senior unsecured rating for the telco to Ba1, or junk, from Baa3 rating. Annalisa DiChiara, Moody's Vice-President and Senior Credit Officer said the downgrade rating reflects the uncertainty surrounding the company's profitability, cash flow situation and debt levels and whether these parameters can improve significantly, given the competitive dynamics in the Indian telecom industry. The rating firm estimates that the profitability of Airtel’s Indian mobile segment will remain subdued over the next several quarters due to continued pricing pressures.
Tata Teleservices (TTSL) has offered to surrender the 800 Mhz spectrum allocated to it without auction in around 15 circles before its merger with Bharti Airtel is approved by the Department of Telecom, an official said. Spectrum held by TTSL can be used to offer 4G as well as 2G services. TTSL will have to pay the present market rate to use the allocated airwaves for 4G services or for transferring them to Airtel. However, both TTSL and Airtel are not willing to pay the market rate of the spectrum, given their huge debt pile.
Telecom operator Bharti Airtel lost 5.7 crore mobile customers in December 2018, according to a company statement released on Thursday. Its mobile customer base in India at the end of December 2018 stood at 28.42 crore, just marginally ahead of Reliance Jio’s subscriber base of 28 crore. Airtel had 34.1 crore mobile customers at the end of November, according to TRAI report. Airtel, however, witnessed a rise in 4G customer base which stood at 7.71 crore at the end of the quarter.
Bharti Airtel Ltd posted a nearly 72% fall in quarterly profit on Thursday, its 11th straight profit decline on a year-on-year basis. Net profit for the three months ended December 2018 was Rs 86.2 crore as against a profit of Rs 306 crore in the year-earlier quarter. The company reported a one-off gain of Rs 1,414 crore during the quarter. Revenue rose about 1% to ₹20,519 crore. Earlier this month, Reliance Jio reported a 65% rise in quarterly profit to Rs 831 crore.
Airtel Africa Ltd, a subsidiary of Bharti Airtel, will raise $200 million, or around Rs 1,420 crore, from Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) through an issue of primary shares. The funds will be used to reduce the Africa unit’s debt which currently stands at $3.7 billion. Airtel Africa clarified that this transaction will not involve any sale of shares by existing shareholders. In November last year, Airtel Africa, which provides 2G, 3G and 4G services in 14 African countries, had raised $1.25 billion, or about Rs 9,200 crore, through a placement of shares to six global investors.
Bharti Airtel has decided to invest as much as $2.4 billion in its Africa unit to expand its 4G services across the continent, Mint reported on Monday. The telecom operator is also looking for an initial public offering (IPO) for its Africa unit sometime in June-July. It has already raised $1.25 billion in its pre-IPO fundraising from global investors, the report said. Airtel Africa, the holding company for Bharti Airtel’s operations in 14 countries in the continent, currently offers 4G services in 10 of these nations, said the report.
Shares of India’s top two telcos Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Idea tanked on Friday after rival Reliance Jio Infocomm's said that it remained focused on increasing the subscriber base. The comments stoked fears that pricing pressures in the sector may be far from over. Reliance Jio's "relentless" focus is on digitizing India, with the vision of connecting the country at the highest quality and the most affordable price", CMD of Reliance Industries Mukesh Ambani was quoted as saying in the company's earnings press release.