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22% of Uninor subscriptions in Q4 2014 were active Internet connections

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22% of Uninor’s connections were active Internet connections for the quarter ended December 31, 2014, as compared to 18% or 6.2 million connections in the previous quarter, 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 36.67 million for the quarter. This essentially translates to an active Internet base of 8.02 million connections.

Note that during Telenor’s Q3 2014 earnings conference call, CEO Jon Frederik Baksaas had revealed that Uninor will continue focusing on providing 2G data services rather than looking at more advanced data services like 3G & 4G services in India, under the prevailing spectrum situation.

Highlights

– ARPU: The total ARPU (Average Revenue Per User) was at Rs 101 for the quarter, down from Rs 104 in the previous quarter and down from Rs 106 in the same quarter last year. The telco attributed the decline in ARPU to lower voice consumption, intensified price competition as well as lower ARPU from the extended coverage area, partly compensated by increased data usage.

– Total connection base: Telenor reported a total connection base of 36.67 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 34.4 million in the previous quarter. Note that Telenor had secured 6MHz spectrum in Assam in February 2014 2G auctions but is yet to start its operations in that region. In October last year, Telenor had mentioned that it plans to launch services in Assam in early 2015.

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– Net Additions: Telenor witnessed 2.3 million net additions for the quarter, as compared to 1.8 million net additions in the previous quarter.

– Telenor mentions that the revenue in local currencies in six operational circles increased by only 26% year-on-year (YoY), as compared to 38% YoY in the previous quarter, due to growth in Uninor’s subscription base but decline in ARPU.

– In October last year, Telenor had 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 year in November, Telenor had appointed Vivek Sood as the Chief Executive Officer of Uninor and promoted Upanga Dutta as the chief marketing officer of Uninor. Sood was previously the CEO of Telenor’s Bangladesh subsidiary Grameenphone for about two years, while Dutta was previously serving as the executive vice president and circle business head of Uninor’s largest circle UP East.

Site re-deployment program: Telenor mentioned that as part of its network coverage expansion initiative that was started in Q1 2014, all 5,000 planned new base stations have been deployed. In the previous quarter, 3,100 new sites had been deployed and the company had mentioned that of the planned 5,000 sites around 4,400 sites had been deployed till then. This means that an additional 600 new sites have been deployed in this quarter. It claims this has increased the population coverage to 50% from 42%.

Telenor Q4 2014 India

Financials

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Telenor group has reported total India revenues of NOK 1.18 billion (around Rs 974.5 crore as per current rates) for the quarter, registering a 9.5% increase from NOK 1.07 billion in the previous quarter and a 29.5% growth from NOK 836 million in the same quarter last year. Telenor mentions that its Indian operations reported an organic revenue growth of 26% for the quarter.

Download: Quarterly Report | Spreadsheet | Presentation

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