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Idea Cellular added 4.7 million data connections for the quarter ending June 30, 2013 (Q1-FY14) – the highest data adoption by Idea customers in a quarter – up from 4.5 million additions in the previous quarter. The company also noted that it added 12.6 million data connections on a yearly basis. Idea Cellular’s data related numbers for Q1-FY14 are:

4.7 million data connections added during Q1-FY14, up from 4.5 million additions last quarter.
– 12.6 million connections added on a yearly basis.
30.9 million total data connections (2G+3G) for the quarter, up from 26.2 million last quarter.
5.5 million active 3G subscribers, up from 5.1 million in the previous quarter.
– Data now contributes 7.2% to service revenue, up from 6.6% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ).
– 13.8 billion MB in data volume, up 21.1% QoQ from 11.4 billion MB in Q4-FY13.
– 6.3 billion MB in 3G data volume, up 21.2% QoQ from 5.2 billion MB in Q4-FY13.
– Data realised rate down 1.2% to Rs 0.335 per MB for the quarter, from Rs 0.339 per MB in Q4-FY13.
– Data ARPU (2G+3G) at Rs 54, a marginal dip from Rs 55 in the previous quarter.
3G Data ARPU at Rs 109, up from Rs 105 in the previous quarter.
– Data usage at 160 MB per data connection (2G+3G), down from 163 MB in the previous quarter. This could be a function of the growth in data connection base, since the total data volume has increased.
– 3G data usage increased to 398 MB per connection, up from 385 MB per connection in the previous quarter.

During the quarter, Idea added 341 3G cell sites, expanded optical fibre network to 74,000 km and added 2,114 GSM sites. It now has 17,481 3G sites and 92,208 2G sites.

Mobile VAS

Despite the stringent VAS guidelines in place, non-data VAS revenues marginally increased to 8.8% of of total service revenue, up from 8.6% in the previous quarter. Combined with the increase in data VAS revenues, the total contribution of non-voice (Data + VAS) increased to 16% of service revenue from 15.2% in the previous quarter.

In comparison, data was 4.5% of service revenue while VAS was 10% in Q1-FY13, and the total contribution of non-voice (Data + VAS) was at 14.5%.

Operational Parameters

– Connection base grew to 125 million (2G+3G), up from 121.3 million in the previous quarter.
– Average Realised Rate per Minute (ARPM) improved to Rs 0.437 from 0.412.
– Average minutes of use declined to 398 per connection, down from 406 in the previous quarter.
– Prepaid subscribers: 96% of total subscriber base, marginally down from 96.1% as the last quarter.
– Churn: 5.1% blended churn, up from 4.3%. Prepaid churn was 5.1% up from 4.4%; postpaid churn was 3.6%, up from 2.9%
– Minutes of Use: The total number of minutes on network increased to 147.3 billion, up from 143.4 billion.
– Idea’s Active Connection base went up by 7.8 million, down from 8.3 million additions the previous quarter.
– MNP: Idea claims a net gain of 7.3 million connections so far, via MNP (i.e. porting in minus porting out, until July 15, 2013)

In June 2013, Idea Cellular reduced its 2G data rates by 90% for both postpaid and prepaid subscribers in eight circles for 90 days. Last month, it also launched roaming packs offering free incoming calls to its subscribers.

Financials

Idea Cellular reported standalone revenues of Rs 6,535.5 crore for the quarter, up from Rs 5,538 crore revenues in Q1-FY13. The standalone EBITDA was at Rs 1,843.6 crore, up from Rs 1,288.9 crore the same quarter last year. The EBITDA margin improved to 28.2%, compared with 23.3% for the same quarter last year, and 24.7% last quarter. This is despite accounting for one-off regulatory charge of Rs 25 crore as ‘License and WPC Charges’.

The PAT was at Rs 482.9 crore, a significant 143.8% improvement from Rs 198.1 crore for the same quarter last fiscal, and Rs 267 crore last quarter. This includes Indus dividend of Rs 83.8 crore. The cash profit was Rs 1743.8 crore for the quarter, up from Rs 1,050.2 crore for the same quarter last fiscal.

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