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Telenor India added 800,000 new subscribers during the quarter ended June 30 (Q2 2016) taking the total subscriber base to 44.9 million in India, the company said while announcing its quarterly results. Globally, Telenor added 3.4 million mobile subscribers during the quarter, taking the overall mobile subscription base to 211 million.

In the previous quarter (Q1 2016), Telenor reported a total subscriber base of 44 million in India and 208 million users globally, wherein its global active Internet subscriber base stood at 40% of its connections.

Telenor mentions that active connection base in India’s operations are more conservative than the rest of the group due to the high churn in the market. Subscriptions in India are considered active if there was activity in the last 30 days, whereas for the rest of the group, active mobile internet users are subscriptions with at least 150 KB of data during the last three months.

Financials

Telenor India posted a total India revenue of 1.551 billion Norwegian Krone (NOK) (~$181.9 Million) for Q2 2016, a 13% increase from NOK 1.362 billion in the same quarter last year. On a sequential (QoQ) basis, revenues were marginally up by 5% from NOK 1.520 billion in last quarter.

However, Telenor posted operating loss in India, which widened to NOK 132 million (~$15.4 million) in this quarter, from NOK 90 million in the same quarter a year ago. In the previous quarter (Q1 2016), Telenor posted losses of NOK 3232 million.

Other Highlights

ARPU: The Average Revenue Per User in term of Indian currency fell by 2% to Rs 93. The decline was primarily driven by lower voice consumption, partly compensated by increased data usage, added Telenor.

EBITDA: Telenor India reported a positive EBITDA of NOK 141 million for Q2 2016, compared to NOK 24 million in the same quarter last year. On a sequential (QoQ) basis, Telenor’s EBTIDA was down by 19% from NOK 176 million in the previous quarter (Q1 2016).

Write-Offs: Telenor India’s operating profit was negatively impacted by NOK 224 million in impairments and write-downs, but offset by lower depreciations following the impairment and write-down of assets in the first quarter (Q1 2016).

Non-participation for upcoming auctions: Telenor’s India unit has decided not to participate in the upcoming spectrum auction, as the proposed spectrum prices do not give an acceptable level of return, as per the statement issued by the company.

Other developments

In May, Telenor India criticized the Telecom commission’s approval of base price for the crucial 700 MHz spectrum, and its decision to hike upfront payments to 50% from the earlier 10% proposed by the TRAI for both 700MHz and 800 MHz band.

– In April, the company hinted on suspending operations in India if the upcoming spectrum auctions turns out to be costlier, especially at time when it posted a huge loss during its first quarter (Q1 2016) financial results.

– In the same month, Telenor confirmed to MediaNama that it is looking to launch 4G services across six circles it operates in. It has already rolled out a pilot 4G service in Varanasi and based on the outcome, it plans to extend 4G in 6-8 cities across six circles in the next few months.

– Earlier in February, Telenor acquired 95% stake in marketing technology firm Tapad for $360 million on a debt and cash-free 100% basis. With this acquisition, Telenor will enter the advertising technology vertical and gain expertise in digital marketing and analytics.

Image Credit: Telenor website