Idea Cellular Q3FY18 revenue has dropped by 25 per cent to reach Rs. 6,509.7 crore vis-à-vis Rs. 8,662.7 crore in Q3FY17.
The Profit After Tax (PAT) has dropped further from Rs. -478.9 crore in Q3FY17 to Rs. -1,351.9 crore in Q3FY18.
Idea during the quarter, on the back of success in MNP from exiting operators, launch of mass market unlimited voice bundled data plans and sustained broadband investment, witnessed strong return of subscriber addition with 7.5 million ‘Net customer adds’ on VLR during Q3FY18. Resultantly, Idea improved its ‘Subscriber Market Share’ (VLR) to 19.8% in November 2017 vs 19.4% in August 2017. The company’s overall subscriber base (VLR) crossed the 200 million milestone and stands at 203 million as on 31st December 2017.
The data usage has zoomed from 703 MB/month (Q3FY17) to monthly usage of 4,742 MB during this quarter. Further, the introduction of competitive bundled data price plans has led to Idea’s highest ever wireless broadband subscriber addition of 5.2 million in Q3FY18, helping increase the company’s wireless broadband subscriber (EoP) base to 34.8 million out of total 42.6 million mobile data users.
Also, the mobile data volume (2G+3G+4G) continued to witness robust sequential growth of 30.2% (on back of sequential quarterly growth of 73.5% in Q2FY18 and 99.1% growth in Q1FY18) as Idea’s pan India data network carried 571 billion MB of data volume this quarter.
Over the period of last two years, Idea has aggressively expanded its wireless broadband infrastructure and added 96,020 broadband (3G+4G) sites. Idea has multiplied its broadband sites by around 3 times in last two years and the overall broadband sites now stands at 143,565.
Idea’s wireless broadband network (3G+4G) population under coverage now exceeds 634 million Indians (52.4% of Indian population) across 22 service areas spread over 154,000 towns and villages. This quarter also the company rolled out nearly 10,000 broadband sites.
Idea and Vodafone India, in addition to active infrastructure sharing arrangements, have also expanded their ICR with higher coverage under 2G ICR arrangements and introduced 4G ICR arrangements, during the quarter to avoid duplication of spends and make best use of capex. This has resulted in expanded coverage across over 12,500 new towns and neighbouring villages, where one of the operators was not previously present.
As 4G consumer adoption rate continues to rise supported by affordable smartphones and world’s lowest ‘voice and wireless broadband tariffs’, almost all of Idea’s incremental network capital investments is allocated towards 4G expansion (including fibre and capacity). Idea remains on course to introduce its own VoLTE (Voice over LTE) from March 2018 onwards in main markets. The capex spend for the current quarter was Rs. 17.5 billion.
The EBITDA for the quarter declined by 18.5% to Rs. 12,233 million compared to Rs. 15,016 million in Q2FY18. In the meanwhile, company remains focused to optimize its operating costs in the new sector paradigm.
In the meantime, Idea remains nimble, agile, adaptive, and focused on its execution capabilities. The company continues to strive for expanding coverage and capacity, optimising costs and delivering sustainable benefits to the consumers. Idea expects to benefit from faster than anticipated consolidation of industry and emerge as one of the largest mobile service providers for both voice and broadband services across 2G, 3G and 4G platforms.