Bharti Airtel

On a hot Tuesday afternoon Neha Arora, 32, stands outside an upmarket café in south Mumbai, struggling with two mobile handsets. She complains that her phone calls regularly cut out.

“It’s a way of life, I guess,” the wedding planner says. “You just call back or the other person calls back.” Read more

Are Bharti Airtel‘s latest set of results a disappointment, or not? It’s hard to say.

Investors were initially cheered on Wednesday, sending the shares over Rs313 in early trading, but they are heading back down to Rs306, where they started the day.

Let’s pick it apart. Read more

Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile operator by sales, is looking to issue debt, possibly through a eurobond, according to India’s Economic Times.

Although a bond issue isn’t officially announced yet, the company confirmed to beyondbrics that six banks have announced that Bharti has approached them, asking for meetings to be set up with fixed income investors from Wednesday. The six on the list are Barclays, BNP, Deutsche Bank, JP Morgan, Standard Chartered and UBS. And Moody’s, the credit rating agency, has assigned a rating to the bonds already. Read more

Airtel, India’s largest mobile operator by sales, is continuing its expansion into Africa. On Tuesday, it announced plans to acquire Warid Congo, making Airtel the largest telecoms provider in the Republic of Congo (also known as Congo Brazzaville).

Before the deal, Airtel was already the second largest telecoms provider in the country and Warid, the third largest. Read more

You know that things are serious when companies are willing to engage in a price war.

India’s telecoms companies have been pushing data services for a while in their marketing campaigns. But now they are stepping up the battle for customers – by competing hard on rates. Read more

No-one likes the feeling of being ganged up on.

State-owned Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd (BSNL) has filed an affidavit with the Supreme Court of India accusing Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone of colluding during bidding for 3G spectrum licences, in yet another addition to the long-running saga over sharing arrangements between telcosRead more

Bharti Airtel, the world’s fourth largest mobile services provider by subscribers, announced on Tuesday that it is set to buy Warid Telecom Uganda, the Ugandan business of Abu Dhabi-based Warid Telecom.

The Indian service provider is already Uganda’s second largest mobile phone operator with 4.6m customers. And by adding Warid’s 2.8m customers, it will be raise its market share to over 39 per cent. Read more

A little temporary relief in the Indian telecoms sector.

Shares in Bharti Airtel picked up on Monday afternoon, correcting much of the morning’s loss, after Delhi’s High Court ruled that the Indian telecoms company can continue – for now – offering 3G service in regions where it doesn’t have its own airwaves until May 8. Read more

Shares in Bharti Airtel jumped 1.5 per cent Rs 325 at Friday’s opening after reports in the local media that the fast-growing Indian telecoms group is considering selling off up to 25 per cent of its satellite business.

The share price then fell back to Rs322.95 by 3pm in Mumbai, a 0.9 per cent gain over the day, as the company declined to confirm whether a deal is on the cards. Read more

India’s biggest initial public offering for two years has proved to be a modest success, with Bharti Infratel raising around $764m from the sale of 189m shares that closed on Friday.

At Rs210 ($3.83) a share for retail investors and Rs220 for investment funds, the pricing of the company – which operates telecoms towers for Bharti Airtel, India’s largest mobile phone provider – fell at the lower end of the Rs210-240 indicative range. Read more

On the face of it seems an unlikely question. But in the the aftermath of a bungled spectrum auction, and with India’s telecoms operators facing what could be their weakest quarterly revenue performance in three years, might the worst actually be over for the beleaguered sector?

The market seems to think so. Bharti Airtel, the nation’s largest operator by revenue, has seen its stock rise by more than 10 per cent since the day 1 of the auctions last Monday, after which it was clear the contest would be exactly the type of damp squib most analysts expected. Read more

Norway’s Telenor emerged on Wednesday as the biggest buyer in India’s controversial mobile telecom spectrum auctionRead more

As mobile phones approach worldwide ubiquity, it’s easy to see that the countries with the biggest populations will have the most connections, with China and India in the lead.

But which companies are serving those customers? And which ones are set to capitalise on the growth in emerging markets? Chart of the week dials in. Read more

India’s Bharti Airtel – the world’s fifth largest telecoms company by customer base – on Tuesday announced a tie-up with South African financial services group Sanlam to distribute insurance and healthcare funding products.

The agreement will see Sanlam selling its life, general and health insurance products through Airtel’s network in seven countries: Kenya, Ghana, Tanzania, Zambia, Uganda, Malawi and Nigeria. Analysts said that while it might not boost profits at Airtel’s still struggling African operations, it is a sound move in a competitive market. Read more

Telling apart legitimate medicine from the fake is a big problem in many parts of the world, especially Africa. But as with many innovations in that area of the world, a simple text message may do the trick.

Bharti Airtel has partnered with US tech company Sproxil to crack down on counterfeit pharmaceuticals in Africa using just a mobile, a scratch-off label, and an SMS message. And the technology may extend to other businesses too. Read more

For a picture of the dire situation most Indian telcos find themselves in, look no further than Bharti Airtel’s quarterly results, released on Wednesday.

Despite a customer base – the world’s fifth-largest – that grew to over 250m, Bharti reported a 37 per cent drop in net profits in the quarter that ended in June, down to $138.5m from $220.8m during the same period last year on $3.5bn in revenues. That fell far below analyst expectations of around $221.2m. Read more

Another day, another delay in the organisation of the upcoming 2G spectrum auction in India – a consequence of the corruption-plagued auction of 2008 that led to the jailing of the then-telecoms minister and the revocation of 122 spectrum licences.

On Monday, Sharad Pawar, farm minister, became the latest politician to throw a wrench into the political machine:  he resigned from heading the so-called “empowered group of ministers” that has been convened in order to determine the base rates at which the spectrum is to be auctioned. Read more

With the Indian rupee trading near the all-time lows of the last two weeks – it closed on Monday at Rs55.185/195 – it’s worth asking who will win and who will lose from a weak currency.

India’s exporters can clearly expect a boost, while companies importing a lot of capital goods, raw materials or oil will be under pressure. Groups with foreign-denominated loans reaching maturity will also suffer. Read more

Shares of Bharti Airtel plunged as much as 5 per cent on Tuesday, when the law enforcement arm of the Indian finance ministry announced it was probing the largest local telecoms operator under the country’s money-laundering laws. Read more

As India’s telecoms industry moves toward more advanced technology (and it is moving forward, despite the many hiccups the government seems to put in its way), local companies are getting more and more help from China and elsewhere.

On Tuesday, Huawei became the second Chinese company to secure a contract to manage one of market leader Bharti Airtel’s 4G networks, this one in the southern state of Karnataka. Read more