Airtel India’s performance was not the worst in terms of financials as the telecom operator could achieve significant number of quality customers despite fighting against 4G operator Reliance Jio.
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Airtel India has reduced its operating expenses (Opex) to Rs 96,362 million in December quarter of 2017 from Rs 108,322 million in the same quarter last year.
Access charges were reduced to Rs 15,290 million from Rs 18,698 million. Airtel’s licence fees, revenue share and spectrum charges fell to Rs 14,696 million from Rs 18,876 million in Q3 of fiscal 2017.
Airtel said its network operations costs dipped to Rs 36,401 million from Rs 39,818 million. Employee costs increased to Rs 5,885 million from Rs 5,734 million. Airtel cut its selling, general and administration expenses to Rs 22,831 million from Rs 24,118 million.
Capex of Airtel India rose 11 percent to Rs 59,601 million. The Indian telecom operator has grown its towers to 163,808 including 130,334 mobile broadband towers from 160,199. Airtel has grown its mobile broadband base stations to 259,002 from 170,844 in the same quarter last year and 226,132 in the previous quarter.
ARPU of Airtel India fell 15.2 percent to Rs 123 from Rs 172 as all telecom operators offered cheap data plans to their wireless customers. As a result of cost effective mobile data plans, data use of mobile phone users of Airtel India rose 30.9 percent to 5,349 MBs per user.
ARPU of Airtel broadband, which is also facing significant competition from Reliance Jio, fell 4.1 percent to Rs 948.
The company has 290.1 million wireless customers as compared to 265.9 million in the same quarter last year. Airtel achieved 3.3 percent drop in churn in the current quarter against 4.1 percent.
Airtel added data customer base of 5.1 million to reach 70.8 million at the end of the quarter. The total MBs on the network increased by 543.6 percent to 1,105.8 billion MBs from 171.8 billion MBs. Mobile data usage per customer increased 31 percent to 5,349 MBs during the quarter.
EBITDA was Rs 35,091 million as compared to Rs 52,986 million with EBITDA margin of 32.6 percent against 38.4 percent. EBIT was Rs 1,668 million against Rs 23,023 million. Its EBIT margin was 1.6 percent as compared to 16.7 percent.
Airtel broadband reaches 89 cities with 2.2 million including 2 million broadband (DSL) customers, representing 93.5 percent of the total Homes customers. 85.6 percent of total Homes customers were V-Fiber enabled customers. Net customer additions during the quarter were 5,000.
Airtel Digital TV or DTH has 13.9 million customers in 639 districts. The company added 416,000 Digital TV customers. Digital TV ARPU for the quarter was at Rs 233 as compared to Rs 232.