Telecommunications sector needs government support to maintain a 3 + 1 structure: Sunil Mittal

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Bharti Airtel chairman Sunil Mittal expressed hope that the government and regulators would step in to ensure the sector remains a viable place for continued investment, and said the industry needs support “ever since. long ”to maintain its current 3 + 1 structure.

Mittal said that as the sector’s role in the economy becomes more prevalent, its challenges loom on the horizon.

Problems like unsustainable prices and low returns in a capital-intensive environment, coupled with legacy legal issues, “took their toll,” Mittal said in Airtel’s annual report for 2020-2021 .

“The industry needs a long overdue support to maintain its current 3 + 1 industry structure and allow players to earn a respectable return on their investments,” Mittal said.

The telecommunications tsar was referring to the current construction of the telecommunications industry which has three private players and a public operator.

Mittal hopes the government and regulators will step in to ensure there is an adequate balance in the industry and that it remains a viable place for continued investment.

India continues to be a “promising destination” for long-term investors, he said.

“We have the opportunity to transform India into a global leader in the digital economy. We must continue to evolve our policies to realize these opportunities while encouraging investment, entrepreneurship and innovation through collaboration, “Mittal said, promising that” Airtel is ready to play its part. “

The telecommunications sector has been one of the main catalysts for the transformation of India and its economy over the past 25 years, and has been instrumental during the pandemic in keeping a country of more than a billion connected , Mittal said, calling it an “exceptional achievement.”

Mittal said that even amid the pandemic and industry challenges, Airtel has shown “remarkable resilience” and, in fact, has come out “much stronger” over the past fiscal year.

“Our focus on executing our strategy while being financially prudent has allowed us to deliver in the midst of eternal challenges,” said Mittal.

The company continues to have a healthy balance sheet with “enough and more” leeway to continue investing strategically for growth, he said.

“With digital platforms operating at scale across the organization, we believe we have all the building blocks for the next phase of our growth,” said Airtel’s senior boss.

Given its significant investments over the past few years, Airtel has built a formidable portfolio of integrated products that will give the company the opportunity to exploit emerging opportunities and provide services at scale.

“As India’s economy becomes more digital, there are great opportunities in areas such as data centers, submarine cable deployment, cloud services and cybersecurity. We will look to increase our investments in these areas. over the next fiscal year, ”Mittal said.

A solid foundation is in place to make Airtel a “first truly digital company” to serve Digital India, he said, adding that the company has the capacity to develop world-class digital platforms and solutions. thanks to in-house engineering talent and strong partnerships with players such as Amazon, Google, Verizon, Ericsson, Nokia, Qualcomm, Intel, IBM, Cisco and Apollo Hospitals.

“This is a big transformation as we embed digital in our DNA and focus more on serving customers who live in a world of connected devices,” he said.

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