Airtel, Vodafone, Idea investment and revenue analysis

Cellular towers in China
Analysis on Capex and revenue for fiscal 2016 of three top telecom service providers – Bharti Airtel, Vodafone India and Idea Cellular – indicates that investment makes the difference to their mobile business.

Investment and data revenue

Vodafone India has made an investment of Rs 8,010 crore in fiscal 2016 against Rs 8,598 crore in fiscal 2015 towards Capex with capital intensity of 18 percent (20.3 percent).

Vodafone has made investment in 35,000 cell sites in fiscal 2016. Vodafone at present has a network of 137,332 sites including 62,673 3G / 4G sites.

Vodafone Global CEO says the company will be careful in its investment in 4G networks in coming quarters.

Revenue of Vodafone India rose 5 percent to Rs 44,490 crore from Rs 42,378 crore. Vodafone India’s enterprise business revenue increased 21 percent.

Vodafone says data revenues contribute to 19.2 percent and Vodafone Business Services contribute to 15 percent of service revenues.

Data revenue of Vodafone India increased 45.2 percent to Rs 8,263 crore from Rs 5,690 crore.

EBITDA of Vodafone India rose 4.1 percent to Rs 13,115 crore, while EBITDA margin fell to 29.5 percent from 29.7 percent.

The investment of Bharti Airtel in India rose 28 percent to Rs 15,165.5 crore against 11,806.9 crore. Bharti Airtel’s Capex in India was almost double than Vodafone. Both Airtel India and Vodafone were in the process of expanding their 3G and 4G networks.

Airtel India revenues rose 10 percent to Rs 70,843.6 crore from Rs 64,529.5 crore. Airtel’s India revenue increased 10 percent, while Vodafone’s India revenue rose 5 percent. Vodafone said telecom regulatory challenges affected its growth in India.

EBITDA of Airtel India was Rs 28,961.6 (+14 percent). Vodafone India’s EBITDA increased 4.1 percent.

Airtel India generated revenue of Rs 56,081.8 crore (+8 percent) from mobile services, Rs 4,760.9 crore (+7 percent) from telemedia services, Rs 2,917.8 crore (+18 percent) from digital TV services and Rs 7,803.3 crore (+16 percent) from B2B services.

Airtel India invested Rs 11,983.5 crore (+29 percent) in mobile services, Rs 698.7 crore (+38 percent) in telemedia services, Rs 1,098 crore (+40 percent) in digital TV services and Rs 312 crore (+164 percent) in B2B services.

Idea Cellular has made an investment of Rs 7,770 crore in fiscal 2016.

Idea Cellular has rolled out 48,878 sites including 14,466 2G cell sites, 19,769 3G sites and 14,643 4G cell sites during the fiscal year.

The total number of cell sites of Idea Cellular stands at 191,536 including 126,833 2G sites, 50,060 3G sites and 14,643 4G sites.

Idea Cellular’s 4G services have reached 3,946 towns and villages in 10 service areas. As of 31 March 2016, over 680,000 customers are using the Idea 4G services.

Idea Cellular’s 3G data volume increased by nearly 2.1 times from 91.2 billion MB in FY15 to 188.8 billion MB in FY16. Idea has a 3G subscriber base of 30.5 million against 27.6 million in Q3 fiscal 2016.

Idea Cellular’s mobile data revenue is contributing 20.1 percent of service revenue and non voice revenue contribution has increase to 28.3 percent from 24.5 percent.

Idea Cellular’s EBITDA grew 21.9 percent to Rs 11,909.8 crore with EBITDA margin of 33.1 percent (+2.2 percent).

In terms of investments, Airtel tops in India, while Vodafone is in the second and Idea Cellular is in the third rank.

ARPU and mobile customer acquisitions

Vodafone India’s mobile customer base has reached 197.9 million (+7.7 percent) with data users touching 67.5 million (+5.9 percent). Vodafone’s 3G subscriber base was 27.8 million (+43.3 percent).

Airtel India’s mobile customer-base was 251.23 million (+11 percent) with data customer base of 58.216 million (+26 percent).

Mobile services ARPU of Airtel India was Rs 194 (–2 percent), while data ARPU was Rs 196 (+12 percent).

Vodafone India’s service ARPU was Rs 205 (adjusted for regulatory impact ) in Q4 FY16. Data ARPU (for users > 1MB) was Rs 163 in Q4 FY16 against Rs 141 in Q4 FY15.

Idea Cellular has 175 million mobile subscribers. Idea Cellular’s 11.1 million mobile subscribers have 4G smartphones. The Q4 ARPU of Idea Cellular was Rs 179 with Rs 129 coming from voice ARPU alone in Q4 fiscal 2016.

Idea Cellular has 44 million data subscribers.

Idea Cellular has added 8.4 million 3G users in the last one year, serving overall 22.9 million 3G data customers.

Mobile data ARPU of Idea Cellular from 2G / 3G / 4G networks was Rs 147 in Q4 FY16 against Rs 150 in Q4 FY15.

Airtel, Idea Cellular and Vodafone will be continuing their investment in the 3G and 4G networks to compete with Reliance Jio Infocomm’s 4G services.

Baburajan K