Vodafone India’s 3Q confirms sector’s healthy trends – sustained minutes growth, flat voice rev/min & strong data uptake. Traffic grew 6.5%yoy (5%yoy for Airtel) with flat voice rev/min. Idea, in contrast, had reported stronger mins growth (18% yoy) but with a 6% yoy decline in voice rev/min. Vodafone’s Blended ARPU is at Rs 189 ahead of Idea’s Rs 179 and trailing Airtel’s Rs 202 but has the highest industry ARPM of Rs 0.59 / Minute.
Vodafone Mobile Data Saga – SuperHit
Mobile data revenue grew 70%yoy (Airtel at 68%; Idea at 100%). This came with ~100% yoy increase in overall data consumption. The encouraging trend seen across telcos is that overall data growth is coming from both increase in data penetration (28% of Vodafone’s subscribers vs. 11% in 3Q14) and increase in per subscriber usage (+40%yoy; +40-50% for Airtel/Idea).
Number of SMS’s sent on Vodafone’s network fell 13% yoy (declining for last 5 qtrs). We however believe that impact from overthe- top (OTT) services (like WhatsApp) is subsidizing – industry revenue contribution from SMS is already down to ~3% as most of the heavy users would have likely already migrated.
MPesa (mobile money brand of Vodafone) continues to expand and now has 337k active customers generating 78k transactions per day supported by 85k agents. Vodafone, Airtel, Idea along with other companies have applied for payment bank license. If accepted, it will expand the services (including cash out) which should help increase the popularity of the service.