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Airtel India Q3-FY13: Rs 47 Data ARPU, Rs 0.29 Per Data MB; 41.48M Subs

Airtel has reported 41.48 million data subscribers in India, a 2.17% QoQ growth, out of which 5.18 million are 3G subscribers, a growth of 29.23% QoQ (albeit on a low base) for the quarter ended 31st December 2012 (Q3-FY13). 22.8% of Airtel’s mobile user base uses data services, with a total of 19,777 million MBs (Megabytes) of data usage being reported on the network, compare to 15879 million MB usage that it reported in the last quarter. Data usage is thus up almost 25%. Data ARPU for Airtel increased 8.82% QoQ at Rs 47 per user; data usage per user was up 20.67% to 161 MB/user, compared to 133 MB reported last quarter. Data realisation per MB was 29.3 paise, down 9.49% from 32.4 paise. The company did not disclose the number of 4G subscribers.

Financials: Airtel reported consolidated revenues of Rs 20,239 crore, up 9.5% year on year, India mobile data revenues up 70% year on year. Its consolidated EBITDA was Rs 6184 crore, with EBITDA margin at 30.6%. Net profit for the quarter was Rs 1011.3 crore.

Airtel’s India and South Asia business reported revenues of Rs 10936 crore, down 1.62% quarter on quarter, mobile EBITDA of Rs 3308.3 crore, down 3.93%.

Mobile Data and VAS & Messaging

We’ve done some calculations, approximating India & South Asia revenues as India revenues. Our approximations are not too far off the mark, it appears: Airtel says its India data revenues have increased by 70%, while as per our calculations (below), it was 75.65%.

Note that Airtel’s Data ARPU is Rs 47, lower than that of Idea Cellular, which was Rs 52. Idea results here.

The VAS and Messaging revenues have consistently been declining, while data revenues have been consistently increasing. Note the increase in “other revenue”, which the company hasn’t explained.

Note that the contribution of data to non-voice has increased, and contribution of messaging and VAS has shown a continuous decline over the last seven quarters. These estimates are based on India & South Asia revenues, not on India revenues, so they might be inaccurate.

Airtel Mobile KPI’s For India

A few things noticeable here:

– An increase in the VLR percentage for the quarter, Airtel has seen a substantive increase in the active connection base, with the decline in the connection base. Together Idea Cellular and Airtel have the highest percentages of active users in the Indian market.
– Decline in subscriber base: Airtel reported a negative growth of 2.15% in connection base.
– Increase in traffic:  6.75% increase in total minutes, though Airtel hasn’t shared minutes of use
– Minor Decline in Rate per minute: This is unexpected, but we might just see a change in the next quarter.
– Minor Change in churn:  One would have expected churn to increase, but it has actually declined to 5.9%


Airtel’s Telemedia business is seeing minor growth – the revenues have increased a bit quarter on quarter to Rs 956 crore, up from Rs 952 crore, with an increase in ARPU to Rs 973 from Rs 971. The customer growth continues to be flat. Airtel reported a broadband (DSL) customer base of 1.382 million.

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