Reliance Communications to expand 3G sites this year

Reliance Communications is planning to expand the number of 3G tower sites this year to address data demands in India.

Anil Ambani-promoted Reliance Communications last week said its total data customer base rose 26.2 percent to 33.7 million. Reliance Communications had 17.4 million 3G customers in the fourth quarter of fiscal 2015.

The data traffic grew 73.6 percent to 87,211 million MB – primarily increased due to increase in data subscribers and higher data usage per customer.

Despite the significant increase in data business, Reliance Communications Q4 revenue rose just 1 percent to Rs 5,703 crore.

Reliance to bet on 3G data

“With the smartphone penetration now reaching a certain level which may warrant a 3G expansion into the Tier-2 towns, we will be looking at a 3G expansion this year,” said Gurdeep Singh, chief executive of Reliance’s consumer business.

According to a report in Reuters, Reliance Communications is pursuing multiple deleveraging options, especially in non-core assets, which should help it lower net debt-to-EBITDA ratio to almost 3.5 by March 2017.

The company’s plans include a potential stake sale in its tower unit, the sale of its international business unit and real estate sales.
Singh added that the company was confident of bringing down its net debt-to-EBITDA ratio to around 3.5 by March 2017, from the current 4.64.

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