Government owned telco MTNL added 72,284 mobile connections in the quarter ended September 2009. It owns 735,744 broadband connections (of the 6.8 million in India totally) and 4.36 million mobile connections (of 456 million). In August, the company’s total customer base stood at 8.18 million; the telco offers cellular (Dolphin/Trump GSM; Garuda CDMA and 3G Jadoo), landline, IPTV and broadband (fixed MTNL Triband and Wi-fi (MTNL Wifine) services.
After a rough first quarter ended June 2009 where it suffered a net loss of Rs. 468.47 million, MTNL reported profits of Rs. 205.84 million in the quarter ended September 2009. Profits were down 77.5% year on year. Revenues inched up (1.7%) to Rs. 9720.59 million sequentially and were down 21% compared to the Rs. 12,315.6 million recorded in the corresponding quarter last year. Expenses were curtailed at Rs. 10,850.47 million in the quarter.
Steep Improvement In Landline Division’s Financials
MTNL depends heavily on wireline (landline) segment which has been facing steady disconnections as subscribers opt for mobiles. So it comes as a surprise that the division, instead of doing worse, has bucked up in the quarter. It has recorded substantially lowered losses of Rs. 193.49 million, a steep improvement of 82% compared to the previous quarter. According to August 2009 telecom statistics released by the Indian telecom regulator TRAI, MTNL lost 22,626 landline connections in August, bringing its total to 3.51 million connections. In July, it had lost 8181 connections. September 2009 statistics are not yet out. Revenues of Rs. 7869.33 million for the quarter ended Sep 09. Revenues are down 11.2% year on year, but marginally up compared to last quarter.
Profit before tax recorded by the mobile division rose 21.8% sequentially to Rs. 370.87 million on revenues that rose a bare 2.1% to Rs. 1795.57 million.
The 50:50 joint venture between BSNL and MTNL, Millennium Cable System, is expected to be ready by the third quarter of 2011. A submarine cable will be laid from Indian East Coast to South-east Asia and from Indian West Coast to middle East connecting our subcontinent to Europe and North America. MTNL has initiated dialogues for signing of MOUs with Singtel, Telecom Malaysia, Etisalat and Djibtel.