Tag Archives: idea-cellular-1800mhz-spectrum

India not ready for 4G LTE , Voice Market Very Lucrative – Idea CEO, Himanshu Kapania

exclusiveIdea Cellular CEO, Himanshu Kapania hosted Analyst Call to discuss FY 2013-14 results. One of the Grey areas of this call is Himanshu does lot of repetitive work by talking on what is already sent out & uploaded on Idea website.

Responding to a question on if they see launch of Reliance Jio Infocomm as a threat, Himanshu said that he will not comment on particular competitor and added India is not ready for 4G LTE mass market and operators may find some selective Hotspots. He made it very Continue reading India not ready for 4G LTE , Voice Market Very Lucrative – Idea CEO, Himanshu Kapania

Idea Voice Stronger, RPM Down, Mobile Data Subscribers at 18%

Idea Cellular Charts Data StoryPlain vanilla Wireless Operator, Idea Cellular reported a strong Financial Year 2014 with subscribers base touching 135.8 Mn. Idea Voice traffic grew 8.6% qoq and 9.5% yoy to 157.1 bn minutes. MOU for the quarter was 397 mins/sub/month, +5.6% qoq but down 2.1% yoy. Strong voice volume growth, after three quarters of sub-par numbers on this metric, was encouraging, and validated Idea’s aggressive 2G network expansion in the past two quarters. Voice RPM Down Overall RPM came in at 43.6 paise/min, down 3% qoq, but up 5.8% yoy. After three quarters of strong RPM improvement, decline in RPM was surprising, especially given the continued discount reduction push by the industry.

Idea Cellular Mobile Data Subscribers & Revenues
Total mobile data subscribers at the end of Mar-2014 stood at 25.3 mn, representing 18% of its total subs base. Idea further tightened its definition of an active data subscriber to one who uses at least 1MB of data over a 30 day period (up from 100 KB earlier) Data usage per sub was 410 MB/month on a revised data subs base. Data usage per sub was a strong 300 MB per month for 2G subs. Reported usage per sub for 3G subs was 462 MB. Total 3G Subscribers was at 10.2 Mn (7.5% of the subscriber Base)

Data revenues grew 12% qoq and 78% yoy to Rs 6.9 bn. Data now accounts for 10.1% of Idea’s wireless revenues. Growth was led by 31% qoq and 139% yoy growth in data volumes. Data revenue per MB dipped 14.5% qoq to 25.3 paise. Decline is largely on account of increased adoption of high usage packs, which have lower effective realization. We have of course, also seen aggressive pricing of data plans as operators look to capture a bigger share of the fast growing data market. 3G data volumes and revenues grew 38% qoq. 3G data formed 46% of total data revenues and 48% of total data volumes for the quarter. The 3G user mobile data ARPU is steady at Rs. 111 per month.

Total Number of 3G Cell Sites is just 20% of the 2G sites and the lower number can also be attributed to the fact that Idea does not have 3G cellular operating licenses on a PAN India basis.

CAPEX – Idea Cellular intends to spend Rs 3,500 Cr on the Network in FY 2015 excluding Spectrum related payouts. The management acknowledges about the 1800Mhz spectrum availability for 4G-LTE but adds will look forward to the same on consumer demand and technology stabilization.

1800Mhz Spectrum Auction Results as Expected; Vodafone Surprise Buyer rather than Idea Cellular


The Results of 1800MHz Spectrum Auction 2012 are as I had expected – Failure in Delhi, Mumbai, Karnataka etc. Other important highlights of the Auction are as follows,

  • Of the 18 circles that saw bids, the winning price did not exceed the reserve price for 17 circles, means Demand was Less Than or Equal to Supply.
  • Only Bihar saw excess demand and thus the price discovered was 9.2% higher than reserve price
  • Telenor [erstwhile Uninor] secured 5 MHz of spectrum in Andhra Pradesh, UP(East), UP(West), Bihar, Gujarat and Maharashtra by paying Rs 40.2 bn. The company will cease operations in circles Mumbai, Kolkata and West Bengal, where it was not awarded licenses. Telenor has evinced interest to operate in the lucrative Mumbai circle and will probably bid again once the reserve prices are lowered.
  • Continue reading 1800Mhz Spectrum Auction Results as Expected; Vodafone Surprise Buyer rather than Idea Cellular

Idea Cellular inching towards PAN India 1800Mhz Spectrum; 900MHz Retention & Migration Strategy – Voice & 3G Focus

Idea Cellular the Pure Play Wireless Telecommunications service provider in India is inching closer to 1800MHz PAN India Spectrum as the Auctions began this morning.

Why Kumar Birla Pomoted Idea Will Bid Aggressively in Spectrum Auction ?
Idea Cellular is promoted by Aditya Birla Group. A.V.Birla’s Management DNA is very well percolated down to every group company including Idea Cellular, the one I have been tracking very closely. Aditya didn’t believe in Manipulating Policies like Dhirubhai Ambani or Mukesh Ambani [Reliance Group]. If Indian Government didn’t want to give Aditya licenses, he wasn’t deterred and established industries outside India. Like wise, Kumarmanglam Birla is unmoved by the untouchable treatment given to Idea Cellular by Corrupt Government / Bureaucrats and prefers to fight it in the marketplace by offering competitive services.

The erstwhile Corrupt Telecom Minister of India created hurdles in the way for Idea for approving Spice Telecom takeover / merger and more hurdles over the issue of overlapping licenses. Idea Cellular is engaged in a legal battle which will take its own course of time, but then it’d lose the business opportunity and hence the aggressive Bidding for 1800MHz Telecom Spectrum.

What is Idea Cellular’s 1800MHz Mobile Spectrum Strategy ?
Idea Cellular’s licenses were cancelled in only 7 circles [indicated in Red in Chart Below]. However, the Earnest Money that it has deposited is good enough for Idea to win 5 MHz of Spectrum in 7 circles and 2.5 Mhz of Spectrum in remaining circles.

The Following Chart Shows Idea’s PAN India Spectrum Allocation in 900MHz Band and 1800MHz Band Continue reading Idea Cellular inching towards PAN India 1800Mhz Spectrum; 900MHz Retention & Migration Strategy – Voice & 3G Focus