State-owned telecom operator MTNL has reported a net loss of Rs 819.96 crore for the quarter ended December 2016 (Q3 FY17). Losses widened from Rs 768.32 crore in the preceding quarter and from Rs 671.58 crore loss in the same quarter last year. The overall operational revenue of the company decreased marginally by 5.3% to Rs 690.59 crore in the quarter, from Rs 729.2 crore in the previous quarter. In the same quarter last year, MTNL posted overall revenues of Rs 756.22 crore.

Note that since Q1 FY15, only once has MTNL posted a profit of Rs 174.58 crore in Q4 FY16, which came from the company surrendering 800 MHz of CDMA spectrum for a total amount of Rs 428.95 crore.

Fixed Line and Broadband dominates

Revenues from Basic (Fixed line and Broadband) services continue to dominate MTNL’s revenues, with the segment reporting revenues of Rs 568.88 crore for the quarter, down 7.57% from Rs 611.29 crore in the same quarter last year, and down marginally from Rs 573.69 crore revenues in the previous quarter.

Basic services contributed 82.3% of MTNL’s overall income for the quarter, as compared to 78.6% contribution in the preceding quarter. The segment, however, posted a net loss (before tax) of Rs 382.30 crore for the quarter, which widened from Rs 244.94 crore loss in the same quarter last year. In the previous quarter, Basic Services segment posted losses of Rs 380.15 crore.

Cellular Services revenue

Revenues from Cellular services declined marginally to Rs 123.45 crore for the quarter, down 3.4% from Rs 127.81 crore in the previous quarter. Cellular services accounted for 17.8% of MTNL’s net revenue for the quarter, as compared to 20.1% in the same quarter last year. Note that most private telecom operators post a higher cellular services revenues over fixed services.

Cellular segment suffered a net loss (before tax) of Rs 142.78 crore for the quarter, compared to the loss of Rs 147.73 crore in the preceding quarter. In the same quarter last year, cellular service losses stood at Rs 124.81 crore.

Plans to sell assets to boost revenue

Last week, the Ministry of Communications informed the Lok Sabha that MTNL is “exploring the monetization of its assets which may contribute to its revenue”. It was also looking to create a “managed service model (in partnership) with BSNL for its mobile network.” The telco is also in process of expanding its GSM/3G network in Delhi circle and plans to install 1800 new 3G sites, which will help handle additional mobile traffic. It is also upgrading its 3G network in Mumbai to HSPA+, which is an enhanced version of the 3G standard.

Download: Financials