Idea Cellular will invest an additional Rs 100 crore in Andhra Pradesh (AP) and Telangana circles for expanding its 4G and 3G infrastructure, reports Economic Times. Currently Idea claims to have 21,584 network sites in AP and Telangana wherein 4,348 sites are on 4G. With additional investment the company aims to hit 4,600 4G sites by the end of FY17 taking its total investment in these circles to Rs 1,000 crore, added the report. MediaNama has written to Idea for a confirmation.
The company has a network presence in over 1,250 towns and villages in AP and Telangana with a combined user base of over 1.6 core subscribers. Out of this, at least 1 crore subscribers are from rural areas, the report said. The network expansion is not limited to these two states. Last month, the company’s CEO Himanshu Kapania mentioned during an analyst call that Idea will upgrade all of its 17 service areas to 3G and/or 4G by March 2017.
Idea has 4G presence in 10 circles and has plans to roll out 4G services in 9 new service areas including Gujarat, Uttar Pradesh West, Uttar Pradesh East, Bihar & Jharkhand, Rajasthan, Mumbai, West Bengal, Assam, and Jammu & Kashmir by March 2017 using newly acquired spectrum in this year’s auctions. For the quarter ended September 2016 (Q2 FY17), Idea had 3.073 million 4G customers and an overall data subscriber base of 30.7 million.
Fund raise and other investments
Yesterday the company revealed plans to raise Rs 1,500 crore by issuing unsecured redeemable bonds on a private placement basis. This means that the bonds are not open to public but only for private investors. Idea plans to sell non-convertible debentures (NCDs) offering 7.57% interest for a tenure of 5 years.
Upgrading fiber sites: During Q2 FY17, Idea said that it upgraded fiber network base to cover 126,000 kilometers, adding more than 25,000 kms in the last one year. The company also claims to have 8,160 Point of Presence (PoPs) or access points across its Fiber line as of Q2 FY17; Idea will utilize these fiber PoPs as a backbone support to its mobile broadband services.
For the quarter ended September 2016 (Q2 FY17), Idea reported:
– Gross revenue stood at Rs 9,300 crore, a decrease of 1.96% from Rs 8,791.5 crore from the preceding quarter.
–Net profit fell significantly by 99.36% to Rs 4.3 crore in Q2 FY17, compared to Rs 675.9 crore in the same quarter last year.
–Mobile data revenue contribution was at 21.9% of service revenue in Q2 FY17.