Reliance Communications (RCOM) has reported a total 36.2 million data connections for the quarter ended December 31st, 2013 (Q2-FY14), up 6.47% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ). It added only 2.2 million data connections for the quarter, as compared to 2.9 million connections in the previous quarter. Given that RCOM added only 1 million new connections to its overall connection base during the quarter, it might be possible that it managed to convert non-data connections into data connections. RCOM defines a data connection as any connection with data usage of more than zero Kb in the quarter. Strangely, a 3G connection is any connection “having made atleast one revenue generating call or data usage of more than zero Kb in the relevant period”.
Of the 36.2 million data connections, 11.1 million are 3G connections, which saw a 21.98% growth QoQ, which was probably driven by the reduction in its 3G prices last to last quarter. The company claims to have largest 3G connection base in the industry, however we’re not sure whether RCOM classifies its EVDO data card users as 3G users or merely “data users”. The numbers:
– 2.2 million data connections added during the quarter, as compared to 2.9 last quarter.
– Data connections base is up 6.47% to 36.2 million connections from 34 million connections in the previous quarter. This was 31.2% up year on year.
– 3G connection base increased by 21.98% to 11.1 million connections from 9.1 million connections in the previous quarter, adding 2 million. 9.37% of RCOM’s total connections are on 3G, and around 30.66% of RCOM’s total data customers are on 3G.
– 2G connection base marginally to 25.1 million connections from 24.9 million connections in the previous quarter. 21.148% of RCOM’s total connections are on 2G.
– Data traffic on its network has increased to 41,702 million MB, up 11% from 31,050 million MB in the previous quarter, and 85.2% up year on year.
– Data usage per subscriber is up 2.86% to 396MB per connection from 385 MB last quarter, which RCOM claims is the highest in the industry.
– Non-voice accounts for 23% of RCOM’s wireless revenues for the quarter, down from 23.1% in the previous quarter. It was down QoQ the previous quarter as well.
– RCOM has 3G coverage in 333 towns across India and it has 11,659 3G sites across the country, same as 11,659 sites in the previous quarter. This has remained constant for the last few quarters.
Last quarter, RCOM had launched EMI-like 2 year contract plans with Apple for iPhone 5C and iPhone 5S, wherein users can get these phones on a monthly plan of Rs 2,599 (iPhone 5c) or Rs 2,999 (iPhone 5S) for the next 24 months – which includes the iPhone handset cost, unlimited local and STD calls, 3,000 SMS per month, national roaming and unlimited 3G data.
It appears to have increased prices since then: Rs 2,499 per month for the iPhone 4s , Rs 2,999 per month for the iPhone 5c and Rs 3,599 per month for the iPhone 5s, for a duration of 24 months. The plans include handset cost, unlimited local and STD calls, SMS’, national roaming and 3G data. (Also read: Is The Reliance Apple iPhone 5S Offer Worth It? – Capital Mind)