Airtel Digital TV eyes ARPU growth in middle segment due to TRAI TO

MUMBAI: Direct to home (DTH) operator Airtel Digital TV has said that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India’s (TRAI) new tariff order will help it to increase the average revenue per user (ARPU) of the middle segment.

“On the DTH, I think the business is continuing to grow. The new tariff order is now in place that came into effect from today. We are implementing the order as we speak,” Bharti Airtel India MD and CEO Gopal Vittal told analysts during the Q3 earnings conference call.

“We think that in the longer term, this order could be beneficial in the sense that you could see some ARPU upside at the middle end as people sort of pick the channels that they think that they will pick. But let us wait and see how that actually plays out.”

Vittal also pointed out that the company is upping its content game to build user loyalty in the market. He noted that the #AirtelThanks proposition across prepaid and postpaid segments provides a whole bunch of exclusive content.

“If you are on a price plan of Rs. 199 and above, that content includes the alliance we have with Zee, with some of the Hooq content that we have as well as a bunch of others. Of course, we also have deals with Amazon and Netflix for higher-end plans. So with Amazon, with Rs. 399 and above, Amazon is packaged for a year. And Netflix at Rs. 499 and above, Netflix is given free for 3 months,” Vittal added.

Bharti Airtel Global CFO Nilanjan Roy said that the telco has stepped up its postpaid business with the launch of Netflix and Amazon Prime Video offers. “We also stepped up on our postpaid business where we offered Netflix free for 3 months for all postpaid customers on Rs 499+ plans. We also launched Amazon prime on Rs 399 Infinity plan. With this, Airtel has established itself as a strong player in content space.”

Roy also underlined that Airtel is an open telco and is working with multiple content partners to provide a wide range of offerings to its customers.

“In line with our philosophy of being an ”Open telco” and working with multiple partners on our platforms to be able to provide widest content choices to our customers, we strengthened our product portfolio this quarter with a multitude of alliances and partnerships,” he stated.

“Airtel TV Premium was launched – offering latest movies, original shows, and sports to our high ARPU customers. We enhanced our content portfolio with original shows from ZEE5, and NDTV Hop – exclusively available to Airtel. Also, to encourage Airtel users to sample our entertainment services, we have integrated our offerings in the myAirtel app.”