Airtel adds 12.5 mn 4G customers despite slashing Capex

Airtel said it added 12.5 million 4G data customers in March quarter of 2020 to take the total base to 136.3 million in fiscal 2019-20.
Gopal Vittal, MD and CEO, Airtel India & South Asia, said: “We remain committed to delivering a best in class customer experience even as we leverage our platform to build new revenue streams.”

Airtel has achieved data traffic growth of 74.2 percent and data traffic on the network reached 6,453 billion MBs. Average mobile data usage per customer increased 35.5 percent to 14.6 GBs during the fourth quarter of fiscal 2019-20.

Total performance

Consolidated revenues — Rs 23,723 crore (+15.1 percent)
Consolidated EBITDA — Rs 10,326 crore
EBITDA margin — 43.5 percent
Consolidated customer base — 423 million across 16 countries
Net loss for Q4 — Rs 5,237 crore
Capex — Rs 11,339 crore

Airtel re-farmed its 3G spectrum for 4G and modernize it for increasing 4G coverage and capacities.

Airtel has increased the number of network towers to 194,409 vs 181,079 network towers in the same quarter last year. Airtel has 192,068 mobile broadband towers out of the total number of towers. Airtel has 503,883 mobile broadband base stations vs 417,613 mobile broadband base stations at the end of the same quarter last year and 473,859 at the end of the previous quarter.

Airtel India said Capex rose 132 percent to Rs 95,207 million in Q4. Airtel India’s Capex fell 15 percent Rs 206,723 million in fiscal 2019-20.

Airtel India’s mobile business Capex increased 102 percent to Rs 69,968 million in Q4. The Capex of Airtel India’s mobile business dropped 24 percent to Rs 151,448 million in the last 12 months. The primary focus of Airtel India’s mobile business was to enhance its indoor coverage, voice quality and data capacities.

Airtel India’s home business incurred capital expenditure of Rs 973 million, registering 32 percent drop, primarily on account of expansion of high speed fiber. The Capex of Airtel India’s home business fell 24 percent to Rs 5,826 million during fiscal 2019-20.

Airtel said it achieved customer churn of 2.6 percent vs 2.8 percent in same quarter last year. Airtel’s customer base reached 283.7 million as on March 31, 2020, compared to 283 million in the previous quarter.

Voice traffic on the network grew 12.4 percent to 822 billion minutes.

Airtel reported 21.8 percent increase in revenue from mobile services to Rs 129,529 million — led by increase in 4G customer base and improved tariffs. Airtel said its ARPU increased to Rs 154 from Rs 123.