Airtel plans about Rs 28,000-crore capex in telecom network, including 5G

Telecom operator Bharti Airtel planned to invest around Rs 28,000 crore in telecom network with a focus on 5G rollout, a company executive said on Wednesday. While the company was planning to increase capital expenditure by 10 to 15 per cent, it had no plans to charge a premium for 5G services as it had not worked in several countries that tried to do so, he added. 

“Airtel capex will be in line with that spent in the last three years. It may go up and down because of the faster rollout of 5G – around Rs 27,000-28,000 crore. We may see an upsurge in one year and gradually moderate around the same level,” the executive, who did not wish to be named, said. 

The company earlier had an annual average capex in the range of Rs 24,000-25,000 crore. The official added that capex was being largely spent on radios (mobile antennas), fibre, broadband, enterprise technology data centres, etc. 

According to data shared by the Telecom Ministry, Bharti Airtel has rolled out 3,293 base stations for 5G till November 26. 

The executive added that the company hoped that mobile services rates would go up, but the range of increase would depend on market dynamics. 

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