Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Airtel breaks into list of world’s top 25 telcos

India’s biggest mobile phone company by customers Bharti Airtel Ltd has found a place among the world’s 25 most valuable telecom brands, ranked by the UK-based brand valuation firm Brand Finance Plc. Bharti Airtel ranked 25th in the recently released list, with a brand value of $2.48 billion (Rs97,780 million then) at the end of 2007. This is the first time an Indian telecom brand broke into the list.

Brand Finance ranked Britain’s Vodafone Group Plc. the world’s most valuable telecom brand, with a value of $26.59 billion, followed by AT&T Inc. at $24.6 billion and Verizon Communications Inc. at $24.38 billion. Bharti Airtel had an AA+ (very strong) rating for brand strength.

 “The key to our success has been our constant focus on service and innovation—be it our unique business model of outsourcing IT (information technology) and networks or revolutionary products such as Hello Tunes and Lifetime Prepaid,” said Manoj Kohli, chief executive officer and joint managing director of Bharti Airtel. “With established presence across all three screens— mobile, PC and TV—Airtel is in the process of transforming itself from a telecom firm to a lifestyle enabler.”

Significantly, none of the other Indian telecom brands—such as Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, or BSNL, Reliance Communications Ltd and Idea Cellular Ltd—has found a place on this list, even though most would feature in a listing of top 25 telecom firms by the number of subscribers.

An earlier Brand Finance report had estimated the brand value of Idea Cellular at $527 million, with brand strength of A+ (strong), and that of Reliance Communications at $1.89 billion, with similar brand strength, based on values ending 2007.

Unni Krishnan, managing director of Brand Finance India, reckons Bharti Airtel would have gained by 10-12% in brand value since December.

The Brand Finance valuation methodology is known as “royalty relief” and is based on the notion that a brand holding company owns the brand and licenses it to an operating company. The notional price paid by the operating company to the brand company is expressed as a royalty rate. The net present value of all forecast royalties represents the value of the brand to the business.

While Indian telecom brands may be advancing, they don’t stack up against the global brigade that is going from strength to strength.

“Vodafone’s brand value continues to strengthen as its enterprise value has risen from $158 billion to $185 billion due largely to investors favouring its developing world expansion strategy,” Brand Finance said.

AT&T is narrowing the gap with Vodafone, according to the brand valuation firm. AT&T’s brand value has increased from $10 billion in 2007 to $24.6 billion, and if it expands more aggressively beyond the US, Vodafone will have a run for its money.


Airtel, VISA in tie-up to 'finance' iPhones

VISA will offer easy financing options for all VISA cardholders of ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, SBI Cards and Citibank

 New Delhi: Teleom operator Bharti Airtel, in partnership with VISA, will offer easy finance options to VISA cardholders of four major banks for purchasing the Apple iPhone 3G, the company announced on Sunday.

"For consumers who aspire to own the iPhone 3G, VISA will offer easy financing options for all VISA cardholders of ICICI Bank, HDFC Bank, SBI Cards and Citibank," Bharti Airtel's chief marketing officer (mobile services) Sanjay Gupta said in a statement.

The handsets can be acquired on monthly instalments for periods ranging from nine to 24 months, depending on the bank and the option on offer.

iPhone 3G is priced at Rs.31,000 for 8GB and Rs.36,100 for the 16GB version, available in two colours - black and white.

"Such initiatives will further widen the market of iPhone 3G in India", he added.

Source: Indo-Asian News Service

Indians in Canada get a Airtel CallHome service from Bharti Airtel

Indians in Canada now get a chance to connect to their homes via Bharti Airtel. One of the leading services in India, Bharti Airtel has unveiled a ‘Airtel CallHome' for the Non Resident Indians and students abroad.

David Nishball, President, Enterprise Services, Bharti Airtel Ltd., said, 'We are excited to launch the Airtel CallHome service in Canada after our successful foray in three international markets. With the large NRI population, Canada is a strategic market for us and we see great potential here. According to industry estimates, the total outgoing traffic to India from Canada is around
180 million minutes per month of whiAirtel Launches ‘Airtel CallHome' Virtual Calling Card Svc in Canadach 60 million minutes is through calling cards.'

As per Airtel CallHome service, Indians in Canada can call back home at the charges of 5.9 cents per minute on a toll-free access. There is also an inaugural offer which provides 50 percent free talk time which makes the calling charges as 3.9 cents per minute mobile to mobile. Also, the subscribers can call countries (enlisted on the Airtel CallHome web site) other than India.

Customers interested in the service have to log on at and create a personal account. After creating the account the subscribers will get a PIN to commence their service. The service is available 24×7. The online account enables the users to view their payment history, control usage and have a look at new promotional schemes every time.

Subscribers can register 10 telephone numbers for outgoing calls in Canada. Users can later configure upto 50 Indian numbers that they call up frequently and save them as short code for Easy Dial feature. Also with the help of the Speed Dial feature on their handsets, user can connect to their friends and families by just pressing two buttons.

Also available with the service are other offers like the Astro chat and Friends Chat. Users get a personalized consultation to an astrologer in India fro 49 cents per minute and 39 cents per minute of calling charges on the Friends Chat.

The service is exclusively offered to prepaid customers and the payments for the service can also be paid via the credit card via the web portal. The users can recharge their calling accounts with top-ups even using an Indian credit from India as well.

The Airtel Call Home service is already available in UK, US and Singapore. 

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Bharti Airtel announces results for the second quarter and half year ended September 30, 2008

Highlights for Second Quarter ended September 30, 2008

• Overall customer base at 79.9 million.
• Highest ever-net addition of 8.211 million customers in a single quarter.
• Market leader with a market share of all India wireless subscribers at 24.6%.
• Total Revenues of Rs. 9, 0200 million (up 42% Y-o-Y).
• EBITDA of Rs. 3, 6990 million (up 37% Y-o-Y).
• Cash Profit of Rs. 3, 1250 million (up 20% Y-o-Y).
• Net Income of Rs. 2, 0460 million (up 27% Y-o-Y).

New Delhi, India, October 31, 2008: Bharti Airtel Limited (“Bharti Airtel” or “the company”) today announced its audited US GAAP results for the second quarter and half year ended September 30, 2008. It has once again maintained its strong growth momentum.

The consolidated total revenues for the quarter ended September 30, 2008 of Rs.9, 0200 million grew by 42% and EBITDA of Rs. 36,990 million grew by 37% on a year on year basis. The net income for the quarter ended September 30, 2008 was Rs. 20,460 million, a growth of 27% over last year.

Bharti had 79.9 million subscribers, as on September 30, 2008, an increase in the total subscriber base of 57% over the corresponding period last year and maintained its leadership position through an improved market share of all India wireless subscribers at 24.6% as on September 30, 2008, up from 23.4% corresponding to the same period of last year.

Commenting on the results and performance, Mr. Sunil Bharti Mittal, Chairman & Managing Director, Bharti Airtel Limited, said “With record customer additions every month, Airtel continues to consolidate its leadership position in the market. The successful launch of DTH service has provided another opportunity to the brand to strengthen it’s connect with the customers, while generating a new revenue stream.”