Uninor informed investors that it is gaining market share in India. With a net subscriber growth of 5.2 million during the quarter ended 31st March 2011, the operator has 17.4 million subscribers in the Indian market. The company’s operational focus is on distribution and cost efficiency. However, the 2G spectrum scam still worries the company and it feels that clarity on licence and regulatory issues was required. In its quarterly report Telenor also informs investors about Unitech MD Sanjay Chandra and Unitech Wireless, being named in the CBI charge sheet.
Last quarter, it had said that it was focusing on positioning itself as an ultra low cost operator in India, in a market rife with multi-SIM usage. Uninor holds UAS licence to offer mobile services in the 22 telecom circles in India. It has rolled out in 21 circles and is commercially present in 13 circles.
Uninor reported revenues of NOK 548 million (approximately Rs. 446 crore) for the quarter ended March 31st 2011, a QoQ increase of 37%. It registered an EBITDA loss of NOK 1019 million(Rs 830.8 crore) slightly lower than previous quarter, and an operating loss of NOK 1246 million (Rs. 1015 crore). It registered an accumulated operating cash flow loss of Rs 89 billion in Q1 2011, in India.
Uninor had begun offering services in December 2009. Telenor owns 67.25% in Uninor, while the Unitech Group owns 32.75%.
ARPU & CAPEX
Uninor has added 5.2 million subscriptions, compared to 4.3 million in the last quarter and its total subscriber base is 17.4 million. The company’s ARPU was Rs 97.8 (12 NOK) for the quarter, almost stable compared to the last quarter, due to growth in the subscriber base.It says that the first quarter of 2011 was somewhat positively affected by adjustments in accruals.The Capital expenditure was NOK 320 million (र 260.9 crore).
1100 new sites were deployed in the last quarter. Uninor has a total of 24,300 sites in the country.
Full Year Guidance
For the full year (2011) Uninor expects to contribute an EBITDA loss around NOK 4 billion and capital expenditure in the range of NOK 1.0–1.5 billion.
Telenor updated investors about the 2G scam investigation in India. It said: ” In India, Uninor and many other telecoms operators as well as the federal government through the Department of Telecommunications and the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India have been named as respondents in public interest petitions filed before the Supreme Court. These petitions seek cancellation of the licenses granted by the government in January 2008 to such operators, an imposition or punitive damages on grounds of alleged irregularities in granting the licences, failure to meet eligibility requirements and delays in meeting roll out obligations. The petitions were being heard by the Supreme Court since 1 March 2011 in day-to-day proceedings. On 2 April, the Indian Central Bureau of Investigation presented its first charge sheet, naming the managing director of Unitech Ltd., Mr. Sanjay Chandra, and also naming Unitech Wireless for actions when it was fully owned by Unitech Ltd., prior to Telenor Group entering India.”