Bharti Airtel here no sooner issues are sorted
Bharti Airtel will launch Airtel in Sri Lanka as soon as the issues
are sorted out, said President - Mobile Services Sanjay Kapoor.
He said that other mobile operators see us as a major threat and they
have come together to delay the launch by not providing interconnection
to Airtel on the same terms as they practise among themselves. The
interconnection charge being demanded from Airtel is very high - about
50% of the outgoing airtime rate.
Kapoor said that a simple comparison of the interconnection rates in
the SAARC countries reveal that the actual benchmark ratio is 25%-30%
and all this ensures that Airtel has to pay a high cost for every call
made from its network so that Airtel is not able to offer affordable
services to Sri Lankan customers.
“We are keen to launch our services in Sri Lanka before the end of
this calendar year and we are ready to give an international quality
service and experience at an affordable price,” said Kapoor.
He said that the whole impetus for us is not profitability but
customer experience and the market share.
We will manage our Profit and Loss as profits is secondary while
customers come first. He said that Sri Lankans have to pay a
significantly high mobile tariff compared to their counterparts in other
countries. Despite significant low tariff structures and further
reduction in tariffs across the world there has been no significant
reduction in the mobile tariffs in the domestic market.
As a result of higher call rates the average usage of a mobile phone
is very low, ranging between 120-220 minutes for pre paid users.
Compared to this India is 461 minutes, China 346 minutes and Singapore
He said that while the average use in India is 461 minutes Airtel
customers use 530 minutes per month. This has been made possible by
offering a good quality service at the most affordable cost to
Kapoor said that unlike most of the Asian countries in general and
SAARC countries in particular, Sri Lankan customers pay for incoming
mobile calls as well. The cost is very high - Rs 6-7 per minute.
Therefore, the operators are discouraging the consumer to call freely
between operator networks.
He said the Telecommunication Regulatory Authority (TRC) is forward
looking and is taking all initiatives to promote the welfare of the