New Delhi: Looking at the low tariff of data and voice services, Bharti Airtel chief executive officer Gopal Vittal on Wednesday said that the price must be increased as it at present is not sustainable. Also Read - Airtel IQ: Airtel Enters Cloud Communications Market; Swiggy, Urban Company Among Early Customers

Addressing investors at a post-earnings conference call, Vittal, however, did not give a timeline on the tariff hike but said price will rise in the future for sure. Also Read - AGR Case: Supreme Court Gives Telecom Operators 10 Years To Pay Pending Dues, 10% to Be Paid By March 31, 2021

“We are at a premium (in terms of tariff hike). In the telecom space, you can have a premium but it becomes unsustainable after a point. We do not want to slow down our growth,” Vittal was quoted as saying by Mint. Also Read - Airtel Partners With Verizon to Take on JioMeet, Zoom in India

Saying that the telecom operator will continue to focus on serving quality 4G customers, Vittal said Airtel is studying the low-cost smartphone space and added that the telco is yet to decide on an approach and is focusing on migrating its 2G/3G customers to 4G network.

As per updates, Airtel recorded a growth of 14.4 million in 4G user base at 152.7 million during the quarter, up 48% from a year ago.

Notably Airtel now has 440 million users in 16 countries. Airtel’s Arpu has gone up to Rs 162 during July-September from Rs128 a year ago, and Rs 157 in the June quarter.

During the conference call, Vital highlighted that the rollout of 5G technology will take a few more years as India has an underdeveloped ecosystem.

He further added that the reserve prices for spectrum enabling 5G services are unaffordable, and act a deterrent for 5G implementation.