Idea Cellular lost 532,000 4G subscribers during the quarter ended September 2016 (Q3 FY17), taking the total 4G base to 2.54 million subscribers. The telco’s 4G base declined 17% quarter-on-quarter (QoQ) from 3.07 million 4G customers in the previous quarter. It had reported 680,000 4G subscribers in the March quarter (Q4 FY16).
New entrant Reliance Jio, on the other hand, reported 72.4 million 4G subscribers on its network.
Idea’s 4G data volume usage stood at 12.4 billion MB at the end of the quarter increasing from 10.25 billion MB in the preceding quarter. The company said that it had 20.4 million 4G handsets on its network during Q3 FY17 compared to 19.3 million in the preceding quarter. The number of 4G cell towers increased to 33,954 from 24,945 in the preceding quarter. Idea currently has 4G in 11 circles out of the 22 circle it operates in.
Note that Idea reports both 4G and 3G services under Mobile Broadband. The segment’s average revenue per user (ARPU) dropped significantly to Rs 141 from Rs 160 in the preceding quarter. Idea’s mobile broadband ARPU saw a continuous decrease from Rs 174 in Q1FY17 due to competitive pressure from the telecom industry post launch of Reliance Jio.
Out of the total 27.02 million mobile broadband (3G+4G) subscribers, Idea reported 24.48 million 3G subscribers, down 12.8% from 27.63 million 3G subscribers in the preceding quarter.
– 3G data volume, however, increased 3.5% to 72.04 billion MB from 69.61 billion MB in the preceding quarter.
– The number of 3G sites also increased to 66,661 from 60,467 in the previous quarter. Idea has 3G presence in 13 circles during the quarter.
– 3G phone penetration: Over 41% of Idea users own 3G devices. Note this also includes customers who own 4G phones.
Mobile Internet business (2G+ 3G +4G)
– Mobile Internet volume grew marginally to 108.84 billion MB, from 107.43 billion MB in the previous quarter.
– Blended Internet ARPU (2G + 3G+4G) decreased significantly to Rs 111 from Rs 130 in the previous quarter. Blended Internet ARPU fell on a constant basis from Rs 142 in Q1-FY17.
– Blended usage per Internet subscriber increased to 703 MB for the quarter, from 694 MB in the previous quarter.
– Idea reported a Net loss of Rs 478.9 crore during the quarter, compared to a Net profit of Rs 4.3 crore in the previous quarter. In the same quarter last year, it reported Rs 569.4 crore as Net profit.
– Gross revenue stood at Rs 8,662.7 crore, a decrease of 6.85% from Rs 9,300.2 crore in the preceding quarter.
– EBITDA stood at Rs 2165.5 crore, a fall of 23% from Rs 2840.1 crore in the preceding quarter.