Telecom major Bharti Airtel has announced its decision to shut down its entire 3G network across the country by March 2020. The process to shut down the services in Kolkata has already begun in the recently concluded June quarter.
By September, the 3G services will be switched off in six to seven more circles and from December to March the entire 3G network would be shut down, noted the CEO of Bharti Airtel (India and South Asia) Gopal Vittal during the company’s post-earnings call.
“Yes, we do see an upgrade when someone moves from 2G to 4G…On spectrum, probably by April 2020, we will really have only 2G and 4G. So all our spectrum will sit on 4G other than the administered spectrum which is on 2G, plus a small slug of spectrum that we require to run our 2G networks everything else will be sitting on 4G band,” said Vittal.
Global investment banking company Jefferies noted that the price hike in India’s mobile business is unlikely to take place in fiscal 2020.
The price hike may happen after Jio becomes the dominant player, according to the latest report on the Bharti Airtel’s Q1 results. “We believe that price hikes in India’s mobile business are unlikely in FY20 and will happen only after Jio becomes the dominant player with 40 per cent plus market share, which we expect in FY21,” Jefferies said in its note.