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Bharti Airtel is now the third largest telecom operator in the world; Region-wise break up

Top 5 global telecom operators

India’s largest telecom operator Bharti Airtel is now the third largest telecom operator in the world with 303.1 million subscribers, according to data published by World Cellular Information Service (WCIS). It’s worth noting that as per Bharti Airtel’s Q4-FY15 quarterly report (pdf), it has 310.88 million total customer base. So, most probably the WCIS report is based on older data. However, this doesn’t affect the ranking. Bharti Airtel has overtaken China Unicom at the fourth spot, which has 299.09 million subscribers, and trails Vodafone Group at the second spot, which has 403.08 million subscribers. China Mobile, with 626.27 million mobile subscribers is the largest telecom operator in the world.

Airtel currently operates in 20 countries:

– In India, it offers 2G, 3G, 4G, m-commerce and other value added services (VAS).

– In Africa, it’s operational in 17 countries and offers 2G & 3G services and Airtel Money.

– In Bangladesh, it offers 2G & 3G voice and VAS services, as well as m-commerce services.

– In Sri Lanka, the telco offers 2G and 3G HSPA+ services, including voice, data and enterprise solutions.

Airtel Region wise mobile connections

Airtel India

Airtel’s total mobile connection base in India increased by 4% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to 226 million for the quarter ended March 31, 2015. The telecom operator added 8.8 million connections in Q4-FY15. It reported total revenues of Rs 13,413.5 crore, up 11% year-on-year (YoY) from 12,083.5 crore.

The telco reported total 19.44 million 3G mobile Internet connections for the quarter, registering a 14.7% increase from 16.94 million 3G connections in the previous quarter, and almost doubling from 10.25 million 3G mobile Internet connections in the same quarter last year. The total mobile Internet base also increased 9.8% QoQ to 46.39 million connections, from 42.25 million connections in the previous quarter, while it increased 30.3% YoY from 35.6 million in the same quarter last year.

Airtel’s mobile Internet base accounted for 20.52% of its total India connections base for the quarter, up slightly from 19.45% in the previous quarter. The 3G mobile Internet base accounted for 8.6% of total India connections base for Airtel.

Airtel Africa

Airtel Africa reported revenues of Rs 6215.3 crore for the quarter ended March 31, 2015, down 12% from Rs 7062.3 crore in the same quarter last year. It posted EBITDA profit of Rs 1290.1 crore for the quarter, down 28% from EBITDA of Rs 1785 crore in the same quarter last year.

As of March 31, 2015, Airtel had 76.26 million customers for its mobile services across the 17 countries in Africa, up 2% from 74.59 million customers at the end of the previous quarter.

Airtel Money‘s total value of transactions in Africa grew 31.4% to $2.9 billion for the quarter, from $2.2 billion in the same period last year. The total customer base using the Airtel Money platform increased by 76.4% to 6.2 million, as compared to 3.5 million in the corresponding quarter last year. The total number of transactions during the quarter grew by 72.2% to 156.8 million, as compared to 91 million in the same quarter last year. More on this here.

The telco had appointed Andrew Kossowski as chief information officer for its pan African network, in May this year. More about Airtel’s somewhat turbulent times in Africa here.

Airtel South Asia

As of March 31, 2015, Airtel has 8.6 million mobile connections in Bangladesh and Sri Lanka. The company reported total revenues of Rs 370.6 crore from the region for Q4-FY15, down 17% from Rs 448.8 crore in the corresponding quarter last year. It reported an EBITDA loss of Rs 26.6 crore for the quarter, down 190% from EBITDA profit of Rs 29.6 crore in the same quarter last year.

Also Read: Airtel Q4-FY15 concall: Spectrum auctions 2015, 4G rollout plans & more

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