British telecom major Vodafone on Friday reported 6.9 percent increase in India revenue at over 1.13 billion pounds (roughly Rs. 11,017 crores) for the first quarter ended June 30, driven by uptake in mobile Internet business.
The company had registered revenue of over GBP 1.02 billion (roughly Rs. 10,302 crores) for India, its third biggest market, in the same period last year.
It said that without incorporating the impact of merger and acquisition activity and movements in foreign exchange rates, the revenue growth for India was 10.6 percent.
The company’s growth, however, declined by 4.8 percent compared to previous quarter as Trai’s decision to cut mobile termination rate (MTR) came into effect, Vodafone said.
“Service revenue increased 6.9 percent, with the growth rate slowing due to the impact of regulation, including an MTR cut. Excluding MTRs, service revenue grew by 10.6 percent, with continued customer base growth and an acceleration in the take-up of 3G offsetting continued pressure on voice pricing,” Vodafone said on Friday.
The company saw increase in data consumption to 67,970 terabyte (TB) compared to 37,707TB consumed in India in first quarter of 2014-15.
“Data revenue grew 65 percent supported by the addition of 3.1 million new data customers, taking the total to 66.8 million. Smartphone penetration is now 26 percent across the country and 47 percent in the four metro circles and we now have 22 million 3G customers compared to 10 million a year ago,” Vodafone said.
The company said it now covers 91 percent of urban area with 3G network.
“Progress on Project Spring remains strong with 1,000 2G sites and 1,100 3G sites added in the quarter (14,000 2G and 21,000 3G since the build commenced) taking our 3G outdoor population coverage in targeted urban areas to 91 percent. We are now trialling 4G services across selected areas,” Vodafone said.
Vodafone India data shows that call drops on its network reduced to 1.02 percent of the total calls made during the reported quarter. The company has a target to cover 95 percent of urban area with 3G network by end of this year.
The average revenue per user of Vodafone India declined to Rs. 183.5 in the reported quarter compared to Rs. 193 a year ago. However, it was offset by increase in customer base, voice usage and so on.
Despite Internet based messaging application like WhatsApp, Viber etc taking toll on SMS business, Vodafone India witnessed about 6 percent growth in messages send out from its network. Total voice call minutes on Vodafone’s network increased to Rs. 18,081 crores compared to Rs. 16,965 crores a year ago.
The company reported 185.3 million customers on its network at the end of the reported quarter, compared to 169.8 million it had in the corresponding quarter of previous fiscal.
Global organic revenue of Vodafone increased by 3.3 percent on y-o-y basis to 10.11 billion pound or about Rs. 98,338 crores at exchange rate of 97.24.