Idea Cellular, which reported its financial results earlier this week, has reported a substantial jump in profit in the last two quarters. This quarter, the net profit, at Rs 931 crores, was more than double of what it reported two years ago. This growth is on the bank of a steady increase in revenues for the company.


There’s been a consistent growth in EBITDA for the company, apart from a blip in two quarters, in Q2-FY14, and Q2-FY15, where there was a minor decline. Q2 is typically the weakest quarter of the year for telecom operators. EBIDTA for Q1-FY16 is more than double the EBITDA for Q1-FY13.


The first quarter of the year sees an increase in post-paid churn for Idea Cellular. It peaks in Q1, and then declines for the rest of the year. In the last nine quarters, Postpaid churn peaked for Idea Cellular in Q1-FY15, where it rose to 4.9%.


Total data connections are up 33% year on year, with 3G connections up 90%. 3G is now 45% of the total data user base of Idea Cellular, as compared with 31% a year ago. Note that, last quarter, Idea Cellular began counting only those connections that use more than 10 MB per month as data users, so this data isn’t exactly comparable.

More data here.

3g vs 2g  Data Connections

3G usage is driving growth in data usage: 3G data usage per 3G customer is up 1.17 times year on year. Total 3G data volume is up 2.29 times year on year.  As you can tell from the chart below, 3G data usage mirrors total data usage, and accounts for more than half of the data volume.


At the same time, with growth in the 3G data users, the data ARPU per 3G connection has declined marginally in the last quarter, despite being on an upwards trajectory. This indicates that Idea Cellular has dropped 3G prices in some markets.


Also read: “About 0.1 to 0.2% of our traffic is on VoIP” – Idea CEO Himanshu Kapania

(Charts by Sandeep Verma)