Idea Cellular plans strategies to improve non-voice revenue


Idea Cellular has decided to focus on improving its
revenues from non-voice segment in coming years. In the last two quarters, Idea
Cellular’s non-VAS revenues as a percentage to total revenue declined.


This is a significant step for Idea Cellular which is
facing pressure on maintaining revenue from voice business.

Idea is planning to improve their non-voice revenue. The
company’s target is to improve adoption of SMS services, where current
penetration is only 39 percent. Similarly, 60 percent of Idea consumers use
GPRS/EDGE devices and only 10 percent of them are active users, so Idea
cellular is putting efforts to boost the same.


Idea Cellular’s non-voice revenue as a percentage to total revenue declined at time when
the cellular major improved its revenue market share in the Indian telecom
market. Idea Cellular improved its revenue market share to 13.9 percent in Q1
FY 2012 from 10.6 percent in Q1 2009, while other operators’ revenue market
share dropped to 86.1 percent in Q1 FY 2012 from 89.4 percent in Q1 2009.


Idea Cellular’s overall revenue and non-voice revenue in
the last few quarters:


gross revenue              non-voice
as % of total revenue


Q1 FY 2011             INR


Q2 FY 2011             INR


Q3 FY 2011             INR


Q4 FY 2011              INR


2012             INR
331.9 billion



Idea’s VAS strategy is to offer rich and high quality
content of music, bollywood, cricket and other popular VAS to over 93 million
mobile users.



Idea Cellular has believed the
fact that there is significant potential for the growth in the ‘non-voice
segment’ revenues across all three categories – text, voice and data.


As telecom operators are going through hypercompetitive
phase, Idea Cellular is considering is planning to tap opportunities in 3G
services. At present, Indian telecom operators manages only 12-13 percent of
VAS revenue where other emerging markets counterparts in China, Indonesia etc,
where non-voice revenue is significantly higher. Non-voice revenues
are about to replace voice revenues in these regions rather than being supplementary
to voice revenues, traditionally.


Recently, Idea has launched 3G Video calling ISD booth in Malapuram
(Kerala) first in the circle.


Idea seems to be efficient in rolling 3G as it launched
3G services in 9 service areas, out of 11 service areas where it won 3G
spectrums. Now around 7,000 3G sites in these service areas launched 3G
services under roaming arrangements for the service areas of Mumbai, Bihar,
Karnataka, Rajasthan, West Bengal, Delhi, Kolkata, Tamil Nadu (incl. Chennai),
Assam and North East. Idea has also committed to offer 3G services in 3,000
towns by end of this financial year.


Idea’s revenues and other income on March 31, 2011 stood
at INR 155,032 million in comparison to INR 124,990 million previous year,
indicating a growth of 24.0 percent, in a sector which grew by only 11.9
percent. Non-voice revenues from subscribers grew at 41.1 percent over the
previous year.


Hope Idea Cellular’s non-voice business strategies will
find more users.


Rashi Varshney

[email protected]