cmn-MTS

Sistema Shyam Teleservices (SSTL) which operates in India as MTS India, has reported a growth of 5.4% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) to Rs 218.3 crore, in non-voice data revenues during Q3FY15. Non-voice revenues, from both data and mobile VAS, contributed to 58% of the company’s total quarterly revenues.

Overall, the company’s consolidated revenues increased 10% from Rs 342.7 crore YoY to Rs 376.3 crore this quarter, mostly on account of data revenue growth. The revenues however remained steady at Rs 374.5 crore the previous quarter. The average revenue per user (ARPU) stood at Rs 137, up 2.7% year-on-year (YoY), on account of increase in price per Mb.

In Q2FY15, MTS India disclosed that its data card user base increased to 1.95 million, up 8.9% from the quarter before. At the time, the company also disclosed that its non-voice revenues stood at Rs 207.2 crore, up from Rs 182.7 crore the quarter before. The company did not disclose its data card user base this quarter.

Highlights:

– SSTL mentions that its HSD services now cover over 1,250 towns across 9 circles, up from 850 towns across 9 circles in the previous quarter and 800 towns across 9 circles in the quarter before.

– SSTL’s mobile subscriber base declined slightly QoQ and reached 8.4 million customers end of this quarter.

Financials:

– OIBDA loss reduced by 18% quarter-on-quarter to Rs 44.3 crore. According to the company, it is now OIBDA positive in seven of its nine operating circles.

– SSTL’s net loss for the quarter increased marginally by 1.5% QoQ. The company made investments worth Rs 26.4 crore during Q3-FY15. Debt from banks and financial institutions at the end of 30th September 2015 stands at Rs 4535 crore.

Acquisition by RCOM: Earlier this month, telecom operator Reliance Communications announced that it would merge with SSTL. The companies had been in advanced talks for a merger through a stock swap since June. Gurdeep Singh, CEO of consumer business of Reliance Communications had said in an analysts’ call last quarter that the company would not be taking on any of MTS’ liabilities through the stock swap. A Hindu report added that Sistema would get a stake of 10% in the merged entity, while RCOM would hold controlling stake.

Other developments:

– In August, MTS India launched a number of data plans which it called OpenWeb plans for its customers. MTS dubbed these “Anti zero rating” plans and said that these were launched keeping in mind support for net neutrality.

– MTS was looking to pivot its focus from being primarily a dongle driven data company to a WiFi solutions provider with its launch of its Homespot Instant WiFi solution.

– The company also partnered with the Indian Railways to set up Wi-Fi hotspots at Agra, Ahmedabad & Varanasi railway stations by the first quarter of 2015.