Airtel signals tariff cut to combat heavy competition from Reliance Jio

Airtel is planning to slash tariffs within the next few months in a bid to compete with Reliance Jio, who is offering free service. Responding to media about Reliance Jio, Gopal Vittal, chief executive officer and managing director of Bharti Airtel revealed that Airtel will retain the existing market leadership since mobile plans cannot be offered for life.

Even though Airtel will not cut rates proactively, the telecom giant is reportedly waiting for the final Reliance Jio tariff to emerge. Vittal told media that his company will take the required steps to combat competition. He said that Airtel is not obsessed by its competitors, but it is obsessed with customers.

According to Vittal, Airtel will most likely slash tariffs if the company need to fight with Reliance Jio. He revealed that the entry of Reliance Jio would not only adversely hurt small players but also lead to consolidation of the mobile industry.

For Airtel, the motto is simple. Win customers for life – and that drives everything they do. Revenue Market Share is the only metric that determines if customers are giving you a higher share of their wallets.

During his speech, Vittal added that Airtel will continue to depend on upon the spectrum assets, brand, network expansion and capital expenditure. He also said that Airtel should not be fined regarding the Reliance Jio points of interconnection issue. The company will reach out to both the telecom department (DoT) and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) to clarify their stand.

Recently, TRAI has recommended a Rs. 1050 crore penalty on Airtel for blatantly flouting license terms and conditions. This is because Airtel failed to provide the required PoIs to the Reliance Jio. This, in turn, caused heavy losses to the Jio.

Meanwhile, Vittal said that his company will continue to focus on retaining its high ARPU customers. They are contributing 1.5 times its current ARPU of around Rs. 190. To combat competition, Airtel will focus on rural customers, improving customer experience and also digitize internal operations and processes.

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