Telecommunication services major Bharti Airtel announced a new corporate structure or a way to restructure its business in order to shift focus on digital opportunities. The move is expected to strengthen the company’s focus in tapping onto the rapidly growing digital opportunities in the country and also allowing it to unlock value. According to a recent statement released by the company, Airtel Digital Limited will fold into the listed entity – Bharti Airtel. The new corporate structure comprises four distinct verticals – digital, India, international, and infrastructure.
The restructuring will include all its digital assets such as Airtel X stream, Wynk Music, Mitra Payments, Airtel Thanks used by retailers. It also involves Airtel IQ, Airtel Cloud, Airtel Ads, Airtel Secure, and other such future digital products. The statement added that the company intends to include all its telecom businesses in a new entity – Airtel Limited. Airtel Limited is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Bharti Airtel Limited itself.
Also, Bharti Telemedia, operating direct-to-home (DTH) services will currently be alongside Airtel Limited. The company also aims to fold the DTH business into Airtel Limited gradually, in order to shift towards the vision of national digital communications policy (NDCP). This will contribute towards converged services to customers.
Bharti Airtel has sought clarification on licensing policy from the government as telecom and DTH are regulated under two separate ministries. Its payment bank subsidiary- Airtel Payments Bank will be a separate entity under Bharti Airtel itself, same as before.
The company’s infrastructure businesses such as Indus Towers and Nxtra will also be retained as the separate entities. The international subsidiaries and affiliates will also remain the same. The company’s board approved the scheme allowing it to file for all approvals to carry out the proposed arrangement.
Meanwhile, recently, as part of the Spectrum Auction 2021, Airtel announced a spectrum trading agreement with Mukesh Ambani-led Reliance Jio to transfer the ‘right-to-use’ of 800 MHz spectrum. Through the spectrum deal, Airtel will receive Rs 1,037.6 crore from Reliance Jio for the transfer.
Bharti Airtel is the country’s largest integrated communications solutions provider. It has more than 458 million customers across 18 countries in Africa and South Asia.