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Vodafone Q1-FY14 Concall: 3G Revenues Up 190% YoY In India; Contributes 30% Of Browsing Revenues

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For the quarter in which Vodafone clocked 41.2 million total data customers and 3.7 million 3G customers, it reported total data revenues of £123 million, up 14.95% from £107 million data revenues. Here are some notes from the conference call:

India 4th largest business: Vodafone is now seeing a much healthier environment in India, which has led to 13.8% service growth revenue during the quarter, when compared to 7.8% growth in the previous quarter. On a service revenue basis, India is now Vodafone’s fourth largest business.

– Vodafone’s average base was up 3% quarter on quarter (QoQ). The consolidation due to exit of smaller players has allowed Vodafone to harden the pricing in India, with the pricing going up 6% QoQ.

– Browsing revenues in India is up 70% year-on-year, 3G revenue was up 190% and 2G revenue was up 60%. 3G now represents 30% of the browsing revenues.

– The company has seen less price discounting which has led to an increase in outgoing voice prices, thereby resulting in higher ARPU.

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– Customer growth was strong at 2.7 million subscribers partly due to improved processing of subscriber verification requirements.

– Smartphone penetration in India doubled during the year to 9%, which has led to a 128% year-on-year increase in data usage.

Regulatory uncertainties: Despite positive market conditions, Vodafone continues to face several regulatory uncertainties regarding spectrum pricing and availability. The company had three regulatory small hits – national roaming, SMS termination and VAS which might result in a drop of 1.5% in growth from Q2 onwards.

On 2G auction and Refarming: The EGoM has referred the issue of spectrum reserve pricing and both the 900 refarmings to the regulator. So the company imagines the auction will probably end up being in November because, they’ve got to get it in before the elections earlier next year. Vodafone is of course disputing the fact that DoT is allowed to refarm it and that case will be heard in the Delhi High court at the end of August. However, the company has also engaged with DoT on the 900 license extension process and pricing and recently put a proposal forward on what they felt was a fair and reasonable basis. It hopes to see some progress once the 1800 Mhz and 900 Mhz spectrum auction takes place later this year.

ListenVodafone Q1 2014 Earnings Call

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