Idea Cellular mobile data shows steady gains in 5 quarters

Idea Cellular mobile data business has gained significantly in the last five quarters. It was driven by 2G and 3G data, and the rapidly growing 3G-enabled smartphones.

Showing a steady performance, Idea data subscribers – driven by 2G and 3G — as a percentage of total subscribers rose to 26.4 percent during the second quarter (September ended) of fiscal 2014 from 24.7 percent (Q1 FY 2014), 21.6 percent (Q4 FY 2013), 19.1 percent (Q3 FY 2013) and 16.4 percent (Q2 FY 2013).

Currently, Idea Cellular has 33.6 million data users on 2G EDGE and 3G HSPA services. 6.2 million subscribers use 3G services out of 127 million overall subscriber base. 12.5 million Idea subscribers own 3G devices.

The telecom operator’s data subscribers rose to 33.6 million in Q2 FY 2014 from 30.9 million (Q1 FY 2014), 26.2 million (Q4 FY 2013), 21.8 million (Q3 FY 2013) and 18.9 million (Q2 FY 2013).

Idea Cellular data revenue as a percentage of total service revenue grew to 8.7 percent in Q2 FY 2014 from 7.2 percent (Q1 FY 2014), 6.6 percent (Q4 FY 2013), 5.7 percent (Q3 FY 2013) and 5.4 percent (Q2 FY 2013).

During this period, Idea Cellular, India’s #3 mobile service provider, increased its data revenue substantially as well. Data revenue rose to Rs 5,416 million in Q2 FY 2014 from Rs 4,617 million in Q1 FY 2014, Rs 3,874 million (Q4 FY 2013), Rs 3,109 million (Q3 FY 2013), Rs 2804 million in Q2 FY 2013, the company said in a recent presentation to analysts.

But Idea Cellular data ARPU did not grow significantly. Data ARPU rose to Rs 55 in Q2 FY 2014 from Rs 54 in Q1 FY 2014, Rs 55 (Q4 FY 2013), Rs 52 (Q3 FY 2013) and Rs 50 (Q2 FY 2013).

For comparison, Idea Cellular’s total mobile ARPU growth was not steady. Idea ARPU declined to Rs 164 in Q2 FY 2014 from Rs 167 in Q1 FY 2014. Idea had and ARPU of Rs 160 in Q4 FY 2013, Rs 161 in Q3 FY 2013 and Rs 167 in Q2 FY 2013.

Idea Cellular, which brings out Idea branded 3G devices, says the 3G-enabled smartphones are 9.9 percent in September 2013.

The company’s mobile data enhanced due to its special thrust of 2G and 3G data business. At present, Idea Cellular covers around 75 percent of all India population extended to around 315,000 towns and villages on GSM network.

Idea Cellular, which works with Ericsson, Nokia Siemens, Cisco, Huawei and ZTE, has 77,000 km of fiber and 2500 3G fibre POPs serve as data network backbone.

Idea Cellular data growth

Idea Cellular distribution model ensures 140 outlets per 100,000 population. It also benefits from 1.3 million transacting retailers serviced by around 26,000 Distributors. The Indian telecoms has around around 930,000 data selling outlets which sell data recharges and products.

In addition, the mobile service provider’s 5 million plus Idea Postpaid base is served through extensive retail & enterprise direct / indirect distribution.

Idea Cellular says 15,000 call center agents handle 1.4 million customer calls per day. 4700+ Idea service stores in formats adapted to large, small and rural towns.

The company has also invested heavily in IT processes and support. It has modern Prepaid Vtop-Up system & Pan-India Postpaid billing system BSCS IX. Idea Cellular has also deployed large Siebel based pan-India Prepaid and Postpaid CRM solutions. It has given emphasis on sales automation through advanced dealer sales management application. It also invested in advanced analytics through proprietary Business Intelligence and Analytics applications

Baburajan K