Idea Cellular’s Mobile Broadband Data revenue growth slipped materially. Data revenues grew 45.7% yoy (and 7.2% qoq), sharp deterioration from 80-100% yoy growth levels reported over the past many quarters. Volume growth slowed down to 75.8% yoy while realizations (ARMB) dipped a steep 17% yoy and 4.7% qoq to 22.3 paise/ MB.
Idea 3G subscribers base was 21.2 mn at end-3QFY16, up 1.6 mn qoq and 8 mn yoy. 3G data volumes grew 115% yoy and 3G data revenues grew 73% yoy. 3G now accounts for 66.4% of total data revenues. 2G data revenues have more or less Continue reading Idea Cellular Mobile Data Growth Tapers, 21.2 Mn 3G Subscribers
Idea Cellular’s Mobile data revenues were up 9.3% qoq and 61% yoy in 2QFY16. Share of data in mobile revenues increased by 190bps qoq to 19.6% in 2Q. Data traffic or volume growth was 83% yoy, driven by 118% growth in 3G traffic and 47% growth in 2G [EDGE, GPRS]. Within mobile data, 3G revenues showed much stronger growth at 15% qoq/95% yoy compared to 2G [flat, +23%]. Idea management explained the 5% yield drop was driven by competition in data market and stiff resistance from price-sensitive consumers to data tariff hikes initiated in July/August that forced a roll back data. Management highlighted that data supply growth has accelerated but data demand was slow to pick up so far; nonetheless, mgmt. is hopeful that demand growth will increase over time, and Continue reading Idea – 3G Main Driver for Mobile Data, Voice RPM Challenging Times Ahead
Idea Cellular management hosted a conference call today to provide update on data business and 4G in particular. As part of data network expansion [3G + 4G], Idea will deploy 30-35K BTS in FY16 against our forecast of 20K BTS. This should impact capex forecasts favorably, and sure enough, management indicated annual capex is unlikely to increase further from FY16 level. We highlight that by adding 30-35K BTS, Idea is more than doubling its mobile data capacity[3G + 4G] in FY16, as the total number of 3G BTS was 30.3K as of Mar-15.
All new BTSs are based on S-RAN technology, Continue reading Idea Cellular to Double Mobile Data Capacity, 4G-LTE Launch in Q1-2016
The management of Idea Cellular in the past had dismissed any threats from 4G-LTE Mobile Data Services. However, in the latest Call, the management took a sharp “U” turn and said Idea is and was an ROI focused company and based on its observations in the past few months it saw a business case in advancing LTE rollouts. It cited the rapid uptake of 4G devices, convergence between prices of 3G and 4G equipment and increasing willingness of consumers as key drivers for advancing LTE rollout. The company said 3G sites would largely be co-located for the next few years and did not see the need for more than 1-2% standalone 3G sites. 4G sites would be100% co-located for a few years. Continue reading Idea Cellular Makes a “U”Turn on 4G LTE Services
Idea Cellular is doing a better job of monetizing 3G as its revenue per 3G base station is c34% higher versus Airtel (despite having more metro centric presence Airtel has only 4% higher 3G subscribers versus Idea). Continue reading Is Idea doing better than Airtel in 3G Mobile Broadband ?
Idea Cellular management hosted a conference call today to discuss the recently concluded spectrum auction. The company successfully renewed its crucial 900-spectrum in key circles. Airtel and Vodafone both extended their 3G spectrum footprint to 21 and 16 circles respectively, and have surpassed Idea on revenue coverage under own 3G. Airtel has stolen a march over both Vodafone and Idea, by picking up the maximum amount of 900-spectrum.
Idea management said that data volumes (Terabytes or TB) may grow at >100% CAGR over next 2-3 years . This would lead to a materially higher revenue growth trajectory for Idea and the whole industry, provided data realization or ARMB does not fall much below forecasts. Idea reiterates the view that India is not yet ready for Prime-Time 4G LTE Mobile Data mass market.
Idea indicated that 4G rollout (FD-LTE on 1800 band) would start from FY17 in select circles (Karnataka appears to be a leading 4G candidate). Capex will increase yoy in FY16, due to 3G launch in Delhi/Mah/Kolkata, as also due to
2G network reconfiguration due to replacement of 900-equipment with 1800. Mgmt. clarified there would not be any write-off of 900-equipment, as the existing electronics will be reused. Idea expects 2G capex to end by FY17, and expects new 4G capex to offset reduced 2G capex.
The Big 3 Operators profile customers’ handsets on network capability and has lot of back-end analytics to crunch the potential that lies ahead unless Reliance Jio disrupts the market heavily, which is unlikely going by its track record in telecom business.