In a direct attempt at independently managing fixed line and broadband networks, Airtel has paid an undisclosed sum to its partner to release the shares in its possession & now completely owns the business. The service in question is Alcatel Lucent Managed Network Service India. Bharti Airtel already is a clear leader in terms of subscriber base within India. Besides, its African operations are doing well. Despite a few setbacks here & there, the company has managed to exceed estimations about its business & ROI generating capabilities.
However, Mobile Telephony is just one of its businesses here. Along with Airtel branded GSM & ancillary services, the company also operates a Direct To Home (DTH) television service called Airtel Digital TV, along with a m-wallet & even a radio! To manage all these remote, pan-India operations, the company even established a Network Experience Center.
Despite the advances in wireless communication technology, the two aspects that are critically missing are ultra-high speed with reliability factor. Mobile telephony hasn’t been able to deliver ‘Gigabit’ speeds with down-to-the-last byte accuracy. Often, owing to multiple geographic & spatial interferences, the quality, speed & reliability of mobile internet degrade extensively. Incidentally, none of these issues are faced by Wired Communication platforms. Owing to Fiber Optic lines, the speeds are lightening fast with virtually zero errors like latency, jitter or packet loss.
For reasons best known to Airtel itself, in case of this line of business too, it has yet another JV called ‘Indus Towers’. While Bharti Airtel does command the lion’s share of 42% stake, others like Vodafone have an equal piece with Idea (16%) completing the consortium.
Airtel’s business practice of offering low-tariffs, has worked well for the company. Let’s see how this independently managed entity now performs now that it has just one owner; Airtel.
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