Very little about India on Vodafone‘s earnings conference call, for a quarter that reported a year on year decline in both data and messaging revenues, but perhaps that was also impacted by foreign exchange fluctuations, just like its India Service Revenues were. The company, in its concall, said that customer protection revenues had a negative impact, and despite the decrease in 3G data prices in India, it is seeing growth primarily in 2G data. There were questions on the call about the 2G auctions in India, but Vodafone execs sidestepped them saying that nothing is conclusive. Most of the call focused on markets other than India. Some notes:
– India revenue grew at 16% in the quarter, but competitive activity has increased.
– Consumer protection regulations logged in the quarter have had a negative impact on revenues
– Data in AMAP continues to grow. Note the chart below. The year on year comparison isn’t valid since the data for the first quarter of the financial year 2011-12 has total data users, instead of active data users. Total data users are likely to have been a fraction of that.
– Dropped 3G data prices in India, but vast majority of growth in data is coming in 2G data services in India, supported by Opera mini.
Our take: does this have something to do with data pricing or availability of handsets? For customers, is there a significant difference between 2G and 3G services?
1435hrs IST: The new (tax) legislation from the end of March had not been legislated, and have now passed through parliament and received presidential approval. We are monitoring the situation.
On spectrum: the EGoM has quantified now the amount of spectrum. The rules around what new entrants and existing entrants can have is settled. The price is left, and it’s about how much money they can extract from spectrum without impacting customer prices. It’s hard to comment on where they will land and I’ve seen 50 different versions of pricing in the last 2 weeks.
1459hrs IST: An analyst complaining about lack of transparency in the mobile sector saying that lack of trust impacts valuations, and that handset subsidies is a key culprit in terms of reduction of transparency. Says that the question is specific to Vodafone, but a comment in general about the sector. Also mentions the lack of transparency in case of assets in the convergence of fixed and mobile services.