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Bharti Airtel to synergise DTH, mobile segments
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Bharti Airtel is looking to synergise its DTH business with the mobile operations as part of its strategy to leverage its strengths in offering entertainment services on a wireless platform.

The company, which is now offering DTH services in 5,000 towns and cities, is also looking at acquisitions to expand its footprint across the country.

Speaking to Business Line, Mr Sanjay Kapoor, the newly appointed CEO of Bharti Airtel, said, “DTH is one sector where there is lot of synergies with the mobile business. Be it distribution, consumer service, interactivity, we can build a lot of synergies. It is already happening in Airtel. For example, all the customer support you get on your mobile is now available on mobile for DTH services as well. You can select or delete a channel using mobile phones. Recharges on DTH also happen on a pre-paid platform. There are lot of synergies that is possible which we should leverage going forward.”

3G ready

Mr Kapoor said that the company will be looking at synergising the DTH platform with its 3G network. “The good thing is that our network is 3G ready. Passive infrastructure, intelligent network, and applications are all 3G ready and of course there is an opportunity to synergise it with DTH.”

“Because DTH is wireless it is of special interest to us because that's the only way to connect India. DTH will play a significant role in taking entertainment to every household in every nook and corner of the country. We have expanded from 0 to 5,000 towns in no time. We are doing well as incrementally we are getting one fourth of the market,” he added. Airtel currently has over 2 million subscribers on its DTH platform.

Asked whether Airtel is looking at acquisitions in the DTH segment, Mr Kapoor said, “There should be consolidation in the DTH segment. Just like the mobile sector there are too many players here and the market is tighter. As far as our make up is concerned, this company has grown both organically and inorganically. Eventually, national players will have a scale advantage.”

The CEO said that there are a number of regulatory and policy issues in the DTH segment that needs to be addressed, including rationalisation of tax structure.

Source: The Hindu Business Line

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