Bharti Airtel`s Broadband Surge during COVID-19

Case Code: MKTG438
Case Length: 15 Pages
Period: 2018-20
Pub Date: 2021
Teaching Note: Available
Price: Rs.400
Organization : Bharti Airtel Limited
Industry : Diversified
Countries : India
Themes: Marketing Strategy, Brand Strategy
Global Economic Impact of Coronavirus – Assessment and Mitigation (B)
Abstract Case Intro 1 Case Intro 2 Excerpts


Growth Over Years

Over the years, Airtel witnessed significant growth in its business. It was the first company to bring 4G to India in 2015 and the Internet of Things (IoT) and 5G trials in 2018. In the journey from being a telecom player to becoming a key part of industry disruption, Airtel worked to rebuild the ecosystem of digital services in the country and drive its growth...

Demand for Broadband Services

Earlier, internet penetration in India was led by mobile phones due to the increasing availability of smartphones and high-speed connectivity at affordable prices. As of March 2020, India had 17 million home fixed line broadband users and 19 million fixed line broadband users (enterprises and offices). By then, about 640 million mobile broadband users were accessing internet services through 4G smartphones / dongles and other such devices...

The Road Ahead

While Airtel made significant improvements in the number of active subscribers, its ARPU was still below the desired levels, analysts said. Airtel's Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal (Mittal) said the company’s monthly ARPU needed to go up to make it healthy and sustainable. “We believe that an ARPU of Rs.154 is inadequate to turn a reasonable Return on Capital as a company and remain hopeful that ARPUs will get to Rs.200 in the short term and eventually to Rs.300 which is where it should be for a business like ours. Of course, even at this level of ARPU we believe we will be very well placed to serve all the lower end customers who may have the capacity to pay Rs.100 or less,”..


Exhibit I: The List of Airtel’s Operational Areas (As of January 2021)
Exhibit II: Bharati Airtel India Mobile Business
Exhibit III: Indian Telecom Sector (As of June 2020)
Exhibit IV: Bharti Airtel’s ARPU and Wireless Data Traffic (FY 2020 and 2021)
Exhibit V: Airtel’s Strategic Acquisition in India (2012-2017)
Exhibit VI: Top Five Wired Broadband Service Providers (As of May 31, 2020)
Exhibit VII: Increase in Broadband Search during COVID-19 (January-June, 2020)
Exhibit VIII: Airtel Xstream Revamped Broadband Plans

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