The great Indian Telecom M&A is finally unfolding. Before we go into the Indian Telecom M&A, I’d like to elaborate about a great Chairman Hindustan Unilever [then Hindustan Lever Ltd] had in the 1990s – S M Datta. That was precisely the time when my tryst with Equity Markets had began even though I was still in High School. I was an avid reader of Business Today & Business India and was deeply influenced by HLL Chiarman Mr. Datta. During his tenure he masterminded the M&A for all the companies Lever Brothers wanted to takeover in India using HLL. Mr. Datta got Brooke Bond India & Lipton India merged separately and finally HLL tookover the combined entity, totally 6 during his tenure and also laid down the future roadmap for Levers in India. Drawing parallel, I’m wondering if Mukesh Ambani wants to do the same in Telecommunications ? Let Reliance Communications takeover MTS Sistema. Meanwhile RJio will takeover Videocon Telecom at some point as I have already elaborated about their spectrum synergy. Later RJio takes over RCom and all the companies will hive off their Telecom Infrastructure assets creating a giant Telecom Services & Infrastructure company. I can’t be sure of RCom & RJio merger in future but corporate moves by Anil Ambani point in that direction – Anil gets into Finance, Power, Defence & Infrastructure exiting Telecom where he hasn’t been able to carve a niche for himself despite driving the business for a decade. Mukesh & Akash Ambani’s Big Plans for Reliance Jio Infocomm are extensively covered here. Continue reading MTS Sistema Merger with Reliance Communications – Mukesh Ambani Master Stroke or 4G LTE Play ?
MTS India’s Data ARPUs have grown 12.4% to INR 321 while data subscribers grew by 8.5%. To compete with 3G data offerings of incumbents, MTS MBlaze has launched 3G Plus network with data speeds of up to 9.8 mbps and deeper in-building penetrations. With licenses in the most efficient, 800 MHz spectrum band in nine circles that have the most data potential, management has focused on improving revenue and profitability through its high ARPU data business. Continue reading Backed by MBlaze Broadband, MTS India Targets Break Even
MTS India / Shyam Sistema Telecom (SSTL) reported revenue of Rs 3.2bn, growth of 6.4% QoQ on the back of 6.8% traffic growth and 8.9% data revenue growth. After the cleanup of inactive subscribers, subscriber base contracted by 8% to 9.04mn while MOUs grew by 11% QoQ. Despite low base, SSTL traffic growth is equal to the incumbent’s growth of 5-8%. ARPU grew by 10.3%, which could be partly attributed to the inactive subscriber cleanup. Voice RPM continues to languish at a 40% discount to incumbents at INR 0.20, dropping 1.6% QoQ. Continue reading MTS / Shyam Sistema India – Closer to Breakeven
MTS Sistema India, with 11mn wireless subscribers in India, is down to operations in 9 circles now, but is still sounding upbeat on exploiting its data capabilities (LTE outlook) and focusing more on tier 2/3 cities. These 9 circles represent 75% of their existing revenues and around 60% total market coverage.
MTS Sistema India in a Conference Call said that it is well positioned to grow LTE on 800MHz given regional developments on this band and also now that the spectrum is considered “technology neutral“, allowing it to offer LTE eventually all operators could benefit upon license renewals. As seen in most other countries, the 4G / LTE spectrum is expensive and here in India, theoretically, operators can now get 4G at lower prices, which could be very compelling given the data growth expectations. Continue reading MTS MBlaze to Deploy 4G LTE Network in 800MHz Band – Upbeat about Data in India