Vodafone Idea Spends Rs 330 crore in 3 Months Towards Capex

Vodafone Idea (Vi) has announced its financial results for the third quarter of the fiscal year 2023-24, showcasing a resilient performance across various key indicators.
Vi 5G business
Capital Expenditure and Network Expansion

Vi disclosed that its capital expenditure (Capex) for the quarter reached Rs. 3.3 billion (Rs 330 crore), contributing to a cumulative Capex of Rs. 13 billion for the nine months. The company has strategically directed its capital investments towards the expansion of high-speed broadband network coverage and capacity in 17 priority circles.

This involves the establishment of new 4G sites, upgrading the core and transmission network, and repurposing 2G/3G spectrum to 4G technology. As of December 31, 2023, Vi’s broadband site count reached approximately 438,900, with an addition of around 1,400 4G sites during the quarter.

In a move to enhance efficiency, Vi successfully decommissioned 3G services across five circles, namely Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Mumbai, and Kolkata. The company repurposed the spectrum in these regions, deploying a total of approximately 74,800 TDD sites, along with around 13,900 Massive MIMO sites and 13,000 small cells. Vi is actively expanding its LTE 900 presence in 14 circles and engaging in dynamic spectrum refarming to improve the overall customer experience. Vi’s 4G network presently covers over 1 billion Indians.

Furthermore, Vi is in discussions with various technology partners to finalize its 5G rollout strategy. The company is also collaborating with partners to develop 5G use cases tailored to the Indian market and is in the advanced stages of 5G trials, exploring innovative technologies such as vRAN and ORAN.

Subscriber Growth and Financial Performance

Vi reported a steady growth in its 4G subscriber base for the tenth consecutive quarter, reaching 125.6 million as of December 31, 2023, compared to 121.6 million in Q3 FY23, marking an addition of 4.1 million 4G subscribers. The overall subscriber base stood at 215.2 million.

The Average Revenue Per User (ARPU) experienced a notable improvement, reaching Rs. 145, reflecting a 7.4 percent YoY increase compared to Rs. 135 in Q3 FY23. This improvement was primarily attributed to changes in the entry-level plan and subscriber upgrades. The total data traffic for the quarter witnessed a YoY growth of 4.2 percent.

Vi reported a revenue of Rs. 106.7 billion for the quarter, indicating a YoY improvement of 0.5 percent. The growth was facilitated by an improving subscriber mix, 4G subscriber additions, and changes in the entry-level plan.

Vodafone Idea disclosed key performance indicators for the third quarter of fiscal year 2024, highlighting notable figures in subscriber base, average revenue per user (ARPU), and broadband coverage.

The telecom giant revealed that its subscriber base stood at 215.2 million in Q3 fiscal 2024, witnessing a slight decline from 219.8 million in the previous quarter (Q2 fiscal 2024). Pre-paid subscribers constituted 89.0 percent of the total subscriber base, a marginal decrease from 89.5 percent.

The Blended Average Revenue per User (ARPU) showed a positive trend, reaching 145, as opposed to 142 in the preceding quarter. Meanwhile, the Average Minutes of Use per User (MoU) was reported at 613.

Vodafone Idea reported a Blended Churn of 4.3 percent during the quarter, indicating the rate at which subscribers discontinued their services.

On the infrastructure front, the company expanded its broadband coverage to 342,214 towns, utilizing a network of 183,358 unique towers. Among these, 170,351 were designated as broadband towers. The total number of broadband sites (3G+4G) amounted to 438,901, a slight decrease from 440,467.

In terms of data usage, the Data Volume (2G+3G+4G) was recorded at 6,004, slightly lower than the previous quarter’s 6,119. The Data Subscribers (2G+3G+4G) reached 137.4 million, while 4G Subscribers totaled 125.6 million, showing a modest increase from 124.7 million in the preceding quarter.