Home Economy Airtel looking at expanding to other SAARC countries

Airtel looking at expanding to other SAARC countries


New Delhi: Leading mobile service provider Bharti Airtel Wednesday said it was looking at expanding its base in various SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) countries and would start with Bangladesh.

“We have always expressed our interest to expand in the SAARC region. We have been interested in Bangladesh and other SAARC countries,” Akhil Gupta, the deputy group chief executive officer of the Bharti Enterprises, told reporters here.

The SAARC includes eight countries — India, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, Nepal, Bhutan and Maldives.

On the auction of 3G spectrum, Gupta hoped that it would be done on time. The 3G spectrum auction is scheduled for Jan 14 next year.

Airtel continues to be the market leader with over 110 million subscribers of the total 520 million, maintaining a market share of around 20 percent.

Currently, Airtel tops in term of revenue earned by the government during last three years.

The company paid Rs.1,355 crore as spectrum charges during the 2008-09 fiscal out of total revenues of Rs.2,927 crore from all operators. It also has an outstanding amount of Rs.56.31 crore.