Vodafone India Capex up 12% to Rs 1908 crore, Airtel H1 Capex dip 54%

Vodafone India Capex (capital spending) rose 12 percent to Rs 1908 crore in the first half of fiscal 2014.

For comparison, Bharti Airtel Capex decreased 54 percent to Rs 2,323 crore in H1 FY 2014 from Rs 5017 crore. ( Bharti Airtel reports lowest Capex in Q2 in last 5 quarters )

Vodafone India said the focus of investment in the first half was future growth areas like data and strategic focus areas like delivering better customer experience.

Its focus on customer experience management has resulted into substantial reduction in churn in mobile subscribers. Total mobile subscriber churn reduced to 51.1 percent in H1 FY 2014 from 74.8 percent in H1 FY 2013. Vodafone postpaid churn dipped to 18.2 percent from 21 percent, while prepaid churn decreased to 51.1 percent from 74.8 percent.

Following substantial increase in Vodafone Capex in the last two quarters, its rural mobile user base rose 14 percent to 83.2 million in September 2013 from 72.9 million in September 2012. Its rural telecom base accounts for more than 50 percent of total subscriber base of 155.5 million.

Vodafone has a network of over 116,500 sites. Out of this, the telecom service provider has 15,500 3G sites in India. Airtel, one of the main rivals of Vodafone India, sites stood at 135,412 and 3G sites at 26,616 in the country.

Thanks to its 3G Capex, Vodafone 3G user base rose 111 percent to 4.5 million from 2.1 million. Total data user base increased 32.9 percent to 42.5 million from 32 million. Airtel India had 50.63 million data users and 8 million 3G data customers.

Vodafone, which earlier said it would invest Rs 5,000 crore to Rs 6,000 crore as Capex every year, needs to invest heavily in networks because its total coverage is 82.6 percent and rural coverage is 75 percent.

Vodafone-India-CEO-Marten-Pieters on Capex

Vodafone India CEO Martin Pieters said the telecom operator will continue to invest in its future growth areas of democratizing data and driving financial inclusion through M-Pesa.

Vodafone M-Pesa has 30,000 agents and 300,000 registered customers from 10 circles such as West Bengal, Kolkata, Bihar- Jharkhand, Rajasthan, UPE, Delhi, Mumbai, UPW, Maharashtra and Goa and Assam & North East.

Baburajan K
[email protected]