India is now Vodafone’s second largest business in terms of data traffic. This was disclosed by Vodafone Group CTO Steve Pusey during the company’s earnings conference call last week.
He added that India accounted for around 40 petabytes of the total 85 petabytes data traffic in the AMAP (Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific Region) region in the first half year, doubling year on year (YoY).
Last week, the telco had reported a moderate increase in its data subscriptions, clocking 42.5 million data subscriptions of which 4.5 million were 3G subscriptions. The data revenues however had declined to £111 million for the quarter ended September 30, 2013, down from £123 million in the previous quarter.
Later in the call, Nick Read, Vodafone CEO (Africa, Middle East and Asia Pacific Region) said its 3G browsing revenues are up 190% for this quarter and the smartphone penetration of its customer base has increased by 40% since the start of FY14. 3G traffic now accounts for 30% of the total data traffic. “We see a massive opportunity now in terms of ARPU uplift, and in terms of further growth coming from India for the operators that are willing to put significant investment in data networks, especially in the urban areas.”
Other notes from the Q2-FY14 earnings conference call:
– Vodafone plans to setup 27,000 3G sites and extend its outdoor 3G coverage to over 90% of urban areas in India. The company also plans to extend its 3G coverage to 200 new towns in the country. There are also plans to setup 14,000 2G sites and roll out 14,000 km of fibre across 40 Indian cities, which will be extended t0 100 cities later.
– Read noted the top three operators have started to increase their existing market share and currently account for 66% of the revenues for the quarter. “As the smaller players, the more vulnerable players, leave the circles, or the market completely, we are able to grab more of the minutes and more of the customers in a dual SIM environment”.
– 13 top circles currently account for more than 90% of Vodafone’s services revenues in India. The company claims to be number one or two in each of these circles and among the top four in all 23 circles.
– India is the fourth largest contributor EBITDA contributor to the group, registering a 4% growth in terms of service revenue contribution. Operating free cash flow has gone from -5% in 2008 to 17% of the group. Service revenues saw a minor decline during the quarter due to regulatory drag.
– Urban ARPU is around $5, which is almost double of rural ARPU which is at $2.8.
– While Vodafone generates a majority of its enterprise revenues from Europe, it is witnessing a significant growth from AMAP countries, particularly India and South Africa.
– Vodafone India Clocks 4.5M 3G, 42.5M Data Subs For Q2-FY14, Data Browsing vs VAS Revenues
– Vodafone India Revenue Declined 13% QoQ to £947 million In Q2-FY14; ARPU at Rs 191
– Vodafone Q1-FY14 Concall: 3G Revenues Up 190% YoY In India; Contributes 30% Of Browsing Revenues