Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel has made significant increase in capital expenditure (Capex) to enhance customer experience of mobile Internet users in Q3.
Bharti Airtel India said its Capex increased 27 percent to Rs 5,371 crore in the third quarter ended 31 December, 2016. During the period, Airtel Africa’s Capex fell to Rs 436 crore from Rs 1,209 crore due to exit from several African countries.
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Total Capex of Airtel increased to $866 million from $836 million. Airtel’s revenue dropped to $3,450 million from $3,654 million. Net income of Airtel nosedived to $74 million from $168 million.
Airtel India investment
Mobile Rs 4,409 crore (+34%)
Homes Rs 185 (+4%)
Digital Rs 265 (–23%)
B2B Rs 123 (–39%)
Airtel India said its investment was on upgradation and expansion of network towers. Airtel India had 160,199 network towers as compared to 151,200 network towers in the corresponding quarter last year.
Airtel India has 113,367 mobile broadband towers for 3G or 4G. Airtel India has significantly stepped up its data investment in preparation of a future data world and now has 170,844 mobile broadband base stations against 99,297 mobile broadband base stations in the corresponding quarter last year and 148,078 in the previous quarter.
Airtel India has 265.9 million customers in December quarter of 2016 as compared to 243.3 million in the corresponding quarter last year, an increase of 9.3 percent. The churn has increased to 4.1 percent from 3.4 percent on account of competitive pressures.
Airtel India said minutes on network increased 13.7 percent, highest in last 21 quarters, to 330.2 billion from 290.5 billion. Voice realization per minute has dropped by 4.33 paisa to 29.42 paisa in the current quarter compared to 33.75 paisa in the corresponding quarter last year. This is largely due to the skewness towards incoming traffic related to the free offer by a new operator.
The competitive intensity due to the free offer by new operator has resulted in flat data customers at 54.9 million. The total MBs on the network has increased 28.3 percent to 171.8 billion MBs from 133.9 billion MBs.
Airtel India said mobile data usage per customer witnessed an increase of 15.4 percent to 972 MBs from 843 MBs in the corresponding quarter last year. Data ARPU decreased 12.8 percent to Rs 175 from Rs 200 in the corresponding quarter last year.