Shares of Bharti Airtel gained in early trade after the CEO of the company announced 5G roll out plans. The telecom counter rose more than two per cent in BSE intraday trade to Rs 770.50 per share on Thursday, a day after Bharti Airtel CEO Gopal Vittal said that the company is planning to launch 5G services within a month and by December, Airtel should have coverage in key metro cities. After being one of the top laggards on Wednesday, the counter was one of the top five gainers on both Nifty50 and Sensex on Thursday
The announcement came as Reliance Jio plans to roll out 5G services by Diwali, which falls on October 24, said new agency IANS.
Vittal said in a statement that after December, the company will expand rapidly to cover the entire country.
“We expect to cover all of urban India by the end of 2023. If you want to know the availability of 5G in your town, you will be able to check it on the Airtel Thanks App and see whether your phone and city is 5G ready. This feature will be available on our app with the 5G launch,” he told IANS.
Earlier, brokerage house Prabhudas Lilladher initiated coverage on Airtel with a buy rating. It feels Bharti Airel is a compelling play on multiple growth opportunities in an emerging digital economy with a strong brand name. The brokerage was of the view that plans of 5G rollout and strong balance sheet makes this counter even more lucrative. It was also bullish on overall telecom sector, which, according to the brokerage, is expected to enter into a strong growth phase as wireless revenues will grow at 17.7% CAGR to Rs2.9trn over FY22-25E.
“Bharti Airtel is a leading global telecommunications company operating in 18 countries across Asia and Africa,” said Prabhudas Lilladher.
The brokerage initiated buy coverage on Bharti Airtel with a target price of Rs 1032.
Bharti Airtel last month paid Rs 8,312.4 crore to the Department of Telecom (DoT) towards dues for 5G spectrum acquired in the recently concluded 5G auctions. It said it has paid for four years of 2022 5G spectrum upfront.