Posts filed under ‘idea’

Idea Cellular revenue up 13.9 pct (India)

Idea Cellular Limited (Idea) announced its unaudited results (limited review) for the 3rd quarter (Q3) and nine months ended December 31, 2008.

Revenues for Idea’s 13 operating service areas for Q3 at Rs. 26,209 mn, grew by 13.9% on a QoQ basis and by 53.2% on a YoY basis.

The EBITDA for the 11 Idea service areas in Q3 enhanced to Rs 7,570 mn compared to Rs 6,446 mn in Q2, representing a margin improvement from 28.1% to 29.4%. However, Q3 captures the impact of Mumbai and Bihar launches for the entire quarter, whereas Q2 had the impact only of Mumbai for 5 weeks. Consequently, Total EBITDA margin declined marginally from 26.4% to 26.0%, even though Total EBITDA increased by 11.9% from Rs 6081 mn in Q2 to Rs 6,805 mn in Q3.

On a consolidated basis, Revenues for Q3 at Rs. 27,311 mn, grew by 18.5% on a QoQ basis. The EBITDA at Rs 6,974 mn showed a growth of 14.9% on a QoQ basis. Consolidated PAT for Q3 was Rs 2,195 mn as against Rs 2,562 mn on a standalone basis. The consolidated PAT is depressed by Rs 367 mn on account of the consolidation of Idea’s 41.09% shareholding in Spice Communications from 16th Oct 08 and on account of Idea group’s 16% shareholding in Indus Towers.

On 5th Dec 08, an affiliate of Providence Equity Partners has invested Rs. 21 bn in Aditya Birla Telecom Limited (ABTL) by way of subscription to 1.925 mn Compulsorily Convertible Preference Shares to be converted into 16.14% of equity share capital of ABTL post conversion.

Idea, including service areas of Punjab, Karnataka and Bihar, added 4.03 mn subscribers during Q3 taking its subscriber tally to 38.01 mn, reflecting a national market share of 11.0%.

Idea, along with Spice and ABTL, now holds GSM spectrum for every service area in India.

Wireless Industry News


January 23, 2009 at 20:30 Leave a comment

Airtel to spend $3.5 bn in FY’10 (India)

India’s largest mobile operator Bharti Airtel said on Thursday that it would invest about USD 3.5 billion in the next fiscal in telecom operations and in rolling out passive infrastructure. Bharti also said that it is on track to spend the same amount in the current fiscal.

“On mobile telecom operations-side the investment would be about USD 2-2.5 billion and the tower business-side between Bharti Infratel and Indus we should be spending between 2.5 and USD 3 billion in FY10. But in Indus (which is a tower tripartite venture of Vodafone Essar, Idea and Bharti) we have 42 per cent share so the exact investment in the tower business will come down to USD one billion making it the same as last year’s capex of USD 3.5 billion,” Bharti Enterprises MD Akhil Gupta said in New Delhi.

Overall capital expenditure will be USD 3.5 billion ballpark, but we will know the exact amount by the end of the next quarter, he said.

He said the company need not raise any funding for mobile operations but in the tower companies — Bharti Infratel and Indus — there will be a need to raise debt to fund the expansion.

While Indus has 93,000 towers, Bharti Infratel, which is a wholly-owned business of Bharti Enterprises, has 30,000 towers. Overall, Bharti’s share comes to 61,000 towers on a proportionate basis as it holds 42 per cent in Indus towers.

“Both will require debt funding,” he said but did not share the amount saying it is competitive information. Whatever required would be raised on need basis. Our net debt is very low — net debt to equity is just 0.19.”

Gupta ruled out any further stake sale for the moment in Infratel, which already has global investors like KKR, Singapore government’s investment arm, Temasek Holdings and other leading global investors hold about 10 per cent stake in Bharti Infratel.

New York-based private equity (PE) firm Kohlberg Kravis Roberts and Co (KKR) has invested USD 250 million (Rs990 crore) in Bharti Infratel Ltd. The arm attracts an enterprise valuation of the company of USD 12.5 billion.

“We raised some money last year from selling Bharti Infratel stakes… there is immediate plan to monetise its assets further,” He said.

He said Bharti did bid for the Iran license and it lost which ultimately went to Etisalat. “Either they were too aggressive or we were too mild,” he said. Bharti Airtel shares were trading at 4.87 per cent higher at Rs 612.

Wireless Industry News

January 23, 2009 at 20:27 Leave a comment

India adds 8.12 mln GSM users in December

India has added a record 8.12 million GSM mobile users in December, according to data from the Cellular Operators’ Association of India. Total GSM mobile users at the end of December numbered 258 million, up 3.25 percent from 249.7 million in November. Bharti Airtel led the growth by adding 2.7 million new users, taking its total base to about 87 million. Vodafone Essar ranked second with an addition of 2 million users, taking its total base to about 60 million. Idea Cellular added close to 1 million subscribers, to take its total base to 38 million. BPL mobile has added close to 65,000 subscribers in December, a decline of about 9,000 users compared to about 74,000 in November. BPL mobile’s total subscriber base reached 1.9 million. Bharat Sanchar Nigam has added 800,000 users, taking its total base to 41 million.

Wireless Industry News

January 15, 2009 at 17:53 Leave a comment

TRAI analysis shows Airtel and Vodafone have most crammed networks (India)

The Telecommunications Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) disclosed that GSM operators Bharti Airtel and Vodafone Essar have the busiest telecom networks in the country, after conducting an analysis.

This aspect was being recorded by TRAI on a monthly basis across the country. The regulator stated the congestion levels were way above the permissible limit during the quarter ended September 08 in as many as 129 places.  Nevertheless, the overall congestion levels which was as high as 526 in 2006 came down to 134 places in the quarter ended June 2008.

The congestion besides causing call drops and deterioration of voice quality, also forces consumers to make repeated attempts to get through to another subscriber.

The regulator has a set a benchmark of less than 0.5% for the congestion levels indicating that out of 200 calls between two operators only one call should face congestion problem. This level is tracked by TRAI by evaluating the congestion levels at the Points of Interconnection (PoI), which are the places where mobile traffic is exchanged between the networks of different operators.

Bharti Airtel has the largest number of PoI’s having a congestion of 41 followed by Vodafone with 22. Reliance Communications and Idea has 19 each. The circles most affected due to network congestion are Bihar, Maharashtra, Gujarat, Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh (West) and Himachal Pradesh.

Wireless Industry News

January 8, 2009 at 16:55 Leave a comment


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