Airtel Grows on Booming Indian Mobile Market

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Bharti Airtel, a large Indian telecommunications service provider, posted strong revenue and profit growth for the quarter ended June 30, riding on the boom in the country's mobile services market.

The company posted revenue of 84.8 billion Indian rupees (US$2 billion as of the last day of the quarter), up by 44 percent on the same quarter a year ago. The company's profits were up 34 percent to 20 billion rupees.

Bharti, which offers both fixed line and mobile services, had a total subscriber base of 71.7 million as of June 30. It added over 2.5 million new mobile subscribers a month during the quarter. The Indian telecom growth story is intact and the rural markets are witnessing strong uptake, the company said.

India's mobile market continues to grow fast. The number of wireless subscribers were 261 million at the end of March, up by 12 percent from 234 million in the previous quarter, according to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). Growth was highest in the rural markets, a new opportunity identified by operators. The number of rural subscribers at the end of March were 62 million, up by 19 percent from the number of subscribers at the end of December, TRAI said.

A number of foreign players including Vodafone Group have invested in the growing Indian mobile services market. A bid by South African company MTN to enter the Indian market through Indian company, Reliance Communications, however fell through earlier this month.

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