KOLKATA: Bharti Airtel stands to lose if Vodafone Idea (VIL) collapses under the weight of its adjusted gross revenue (AGR) dues of more than Rs 53,000 crore, said a few analysts. Their view is contrary to the widespread belief that the Sunil Mittal-owned operator would gain in a two-private player market. Without VIL, Bharti Airtel would lose out on benefits of shared towers infrastructure, which could lead to an increase of at least 15% in network and customer servicing costs and hinder its ability to offer affordable tariffs to consumers in future, said the analysts. Bharti Airtel, they said, would also be without a trusted partner, if Vodafone Idea exits, in combating a challenging regulatory environment, especially when facing a strong adversary like Reliance Jio Infocomm, the new telecom market leader. Bharti Airtel chief executive Gopal Vittal recently said it is important that VIL survives and India remains a three-player market. “Bharti may have a tough time continuing its low-cost model if VIL breathes its last,” said SBICap Securities research head Rajiv Sharma, adding that “creation of tower companies such as Indus has helped both incumbent telcos get external capital to fund their own capex.” The shared infrastructure model has… Read full this story
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