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18% of Uninor’s connections are active Internet connections for the quarter ended September 30, 2014, Telenor has disclosed in its earnings report.

While the company hasn’t disclosed any specific number on Uninor’s active Internet base in the country, Uninor has reported a total connection base of 34.4 million for the quarter. This essentially translates to an active Internet base of 6.2 million connections.

Note that Uninor had launched a new Internet strategy earlier this year, focusing on affordable and service-based mobile Internet offers. As part of this new strategy, it had announced plans to offer Facebook at Rs 0.5 per hour and Rs. 1 for a day of WhatsApp.

In the previous quarter, Telenor had reported a 32% increase in its active Internet user base in India for the six months ended June 30, 2014 while its Internet revenues in India had grown by 42% in the same period.

Highlights

ARPU: The total ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) was at Rs 104 for the quarter, down from Rs 108 in the previous quarter but up from Rs 100 in the same quarter last year. The telco attributed the yearly growth in ARPU to a higher share of Internet users and improved quality of Uninor’s subscription base.

Total connection base: Telenor reported a total connection base of 34.4 million across six telecom circles Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Gujarat, Maharashtra, UP East and UP West for the quarter. In comparison, Telenor had a connection base of 26 million in the previous quarter. Note that Telenor has secured 6MHz spectrum in Assam in February 2014 2G auctions but is yet to start its operations in that region. Earlier in the month, Telenor had mentioned that it plans to launch services in Assam early next year.

Net Additions: Telenor witnessed 1.8 million net additions for the quarter, as compared to 2 million net additions in the previous quarter.

Average Minutes Per User dipped to 425 minutes for the quarter, down 5.3% from 449 minutes in the previous quarter and down 2.1% from 434 minutes in the same quarter last year.

– Telenor mentions that the revenue in local currencies in six operational circles increased by 38% year-on-year due to growth in Uninor’s subscription base and increased ARPU.

– Earlier this month, Telenor increased its stake in Telewings to 100% by acquiring the remaining 26% stake held by its Indian partner Lakshdeep Investment & Finance, after receiving an approval from FIPB last month. It had received an approval for an investment of Rs 780.86 crore for this.

– Telenor mentions that it also received a Letter of Intent for spectrum acquired in the February 2014 auction last month (September 8), and the spectrum costs of Rs 810 crore has been capitalized from that date.

Site re-deployment program: Telenor has launched 3,100 new sites during the quarter, as part of its network coverage expansion initiative that was started in Q1 2014. The company mentions that of the planned 5,000 sites, around 4,400 sites have now been deployed until now. It claims this has increased the population coverage to 50% from 42%.

Financials

Telenor group has reported total India revenues of NOK 1.07 billion (around Rs 921.8 crore as per current rates) for the quarter, registering a 4.9% increase from NOK 1.02 billion in the previous quarter and a 46.8% growth from NOK 729 million in the same quarter last year. Telenor mentions that its Indian operations reported an organic revenue growth of 38% for the quarter.

Uninor Q3 2014
The telco reported a loss of NOK 195 million (Rs 180.5 crore) for the quarter, as compared to NOK 170 million profit in the previous quarter. It had reported a loss of NOK 143 million in the same quarter last year.

The EBITDA loss increased to NOK 136 million (Rs 126.1 crore) from NOK 106 million loss in the previous quarter but decreased from NOK 140 million in the same quarter last year.

Bank Guarantees: As of September 30, 2014, Telenor ASA has issued bank guarantees worth NOK 2.7 billion (around Rs 2,503 crore), of which NOK 1.6 billion (Rs 1,481.3 crore) relates to interest-bearing liabilities and NOK 1.1 billion (Rs 1,019.7 crore) relates to guarantees issued to India’s Department of Telecom (DoT).

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Updates: Headline typo fixed