Airtel CEO Reveals 4G Investments Showing Positive Results


Airtel’s focus on data pricing, network quality, content and adding smartphone users to the 4G network has helped in accelerating growth 

Gopal Vittal, CEO, Airtel
(Image Courtesy – The Hindu)

Gopal Vittal, CEO, Airtel has revealed that the investments on 4G have paid off. The telecom operator has added more than 7.5 million 4G subscribers in September quarter. Overall, around 66 million users are on its 4G network. He added that Airtel’s focus is to add more smartphone users who use the high-speed internet on their smartphones.

Business strategies

The telecom major, according to Vittal, was emphasising mainly on data prices, network quality and an addition of smartphone users to its 4G network to boost business. It focused on offering various benefits to consumers. The digital program called Airtel Thanks offered free benefits to the users, who in turn, contributed to generating ARPU (average revenue per user) or a monthly revenue of Rs. 100 and above. Additionally, the offers included discounts and other offers on smartphones and shopping vouchers.


Airtel also signed up with a slew of content providers such as Netflix, Amazon, Zee5 and more to offer high-quality content to the users. The platforms had premium offers on original series and movies on Airtel TV. It also provided cashback offers for existing users on purchasing a new smartphone.

Smartphone strategy

The telecom major made use of its online store to draw buyers of smartphones to its mobile network. It ensured to avail the business opportunities in the 4G smartphone market and bagged more than 7.5 million 4G subscribers in 3 months. Airtel’s pricing policy also benefitted its post-paid revenue share.

The CEO said that the company deployed more than 27,000 mobile broadband Base Transceiver Station to enhance network quality. According to Ookla, a global leader in the speed test, Airtel is the fastest mobile network in India.

Shift from 3G to 4G

Airtel has shifted its focus from 3G to 4G mainly because the former’s contribution to its revenue was less. It has been promoting the 4G network and gradually heading towards covering around 150,000 sites.

Airtel India’s 4G subscriber base on smartphone customers reached 65.731 million in September quarter of 2018 as compared with 58.281 million in June quarter and 28.306 million in September quarter of 2017.



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