Idea Mobile Data Growth Faster than Airtel at 103% YoY

Idea 3G GrowthPlain Vanilla Wireless Operator Idea Cellular reported a whopping 103% yoy and 13% qoq growth in data revenues to Rs14 bn in Q4FY15. Data revenues formed 16.9% of wireless service revenues for 4QFY15, up from 10.1% in 4QFY14. Market leader Airtel which has adopted different strategy reported Data revenue growth of 70% yoy at Rs23 Bn in Q4FY15. Even though Idea grows on a smaller revenue base relative to Airtel, growth of 103% is certainly commendable. We understand Airtel’s reluctance to aggressively chase volumes on the voice side but do not see any valid rationale for sustained under performance on data revenue growth rates.

Idea Cellular’s Data revenue growth was led by a strong 100% growth in data volumes yoy even as data realization was largely flat yoy at 25.7 paise/MB. 3G revenues formed 61% of total data revenues, up from 47% in 4QFY14. Data usage per sub stood at 586 MB/month while for 3G data users, the same was 777 MB/month, up 14% yoy. At end-4QFY15, nearly 23% of Idea’s subs base had 3G-enabled handsets while 3G data subs base formed only 9% of total subs. This suggests massive 3G data adoption potential even within the existing customer base with 3G handsets.

Airtel’s Data Realization per MB was 26.8 paise/MB and Mobile Data usage per customer witnessed an increase of 41.2% to 656 MB. 20.5% of total customers are using Airtel Mobile Data [2G /3G /4G] Only 8.58% of Total Wireless Subscribers have opted for 3G broadband services Out of the total number, 33.3% are 3G enabled cell sites, forming the largest 3G Network in India.

India braces up for the Big Mobile Data Boom & Tariff War ahead of us. All threats of 6x rise in Mobile Data will get defeated as more bandwidth comes into play by means of 4G-LTE or Wi-Fi Networks.

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