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Vodafone India Had 26M Data Subs At End Of Q1-FY12; 3.7M Opera Mini Users

At GBP 1039 million, Vodafone has reported a 5.15% quarter on quarter increase in India Service revenues for the quarter ending June 30th 2011 (Q1-FY12), up from GBP 988 million reported the previous quarter (FY10). Revenue from voice services increased by 4.10% quarter on quarter to GBP 813 million, though contribution to total revenues declined marginally to 78.25% of total. The contribution of data and messaging grew to a combined 12.61% of total revenue, up from 11.84% reported last quarter.

Once again, the decline in messaging revenues was surpassed by the growth in data services, and for the second quarter running, there was a decline in messaging revenue, at GBP 44 million. The company has stated that it had 26 million data customers at the end of 30th June 2011, up 189% year on year. Last quarter, in response to a written query from MediaNama, Vodafone had said that they had 19 million data users at the end of March 2011, of which 1.5 million were 3G subscribers. So the number of data subscribers has gone up by a 36.84% (7 million in total) quarter on quarter. The company says that “The growth was driven by the increase in data enabled handsets and the continued impact of successful marketing campaigns run in conjunction with the sponsorship of key sporting events.” Vodafone had launched 3G services in 147 towns and cities across 12 circles by end of June 2011.

On the conference call (in progress now), the company said that the launch of the Vodafone Opera Mini browser has driven data growth, and it has 3.7 million Opera Mini users.

Operational Parameters

– ARPU: Vodafone India’s (blended) ARPU declined quarter on quarter Rs 169 from Rs 171 the previous quarter. ARPU has been sliding for many quarters.

– PostPaid: Postpaid ARPU grew to Rs 749 quarter on quarter, from 171, reversing the trend of quarterly decline. However, prepaid ARPU continued to fall to Rs 141 from Rs 142. 95.4% of Vodafone’s subscriber base is pre-paid.

– Churn: Postpaid churn declined to 21.9%, while prepaid churn grew to 58.8%. Please keep in mind that Vodafone accounts for churn over four consecutive quarters.

– Minutes of Use: increased to 127.62 billion from 119.29 billion, even as prices continued to stabilize.

Transfer of Indian shareholding

Vodafone expects to make a payment of $1.3 billion (£0.8 billion or Rs 56.7 billion) relating to the remaining 11% stake in Vodafone Essar Ltd held by Essar, and the settlement of all shareholder claims, by 15 February 2012. The company expects to transfer at least 1.35% of the shares in Vodafone Essar Ltd to an Indian investor to ensure Vodafone’s continued compliance with Indian foreign direct investment rules.

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