Idea Cellular, India’s third largest telecom operator deployed just over 9000 4G cell sites in the quarter, taking the overall 4G site count to 33,954 in the country. The telco’s 3G cell site count went up from the 60,467 in the second quarter to 66,661 in the third quarter, which ended on December 31, 2016.
Idea’s 2G cell site count reached 132,362 in the third quarter against 130,633 in the second quarter of the fiscal year.
The telco said that its 4G networks now cover 211 million population across 2,898 towns and 15,720 villages in 11 circles. 3G networks, on the other hand, cover 395 million population across 4,153 towns and 83,693 villages in 13 circles.
It added that 2G networks cover over a billion population across 7,695 towns and 393,257 villages in 22 circles. Idea’s 4G data subscribers base declined from 307300 users in Q2 to 2541000 in Q3. 3G data subscriber base declined from 27,63000 to 24,48500 in Q3.
The telecom operator’s overall subscriber count reached 185.2 million in the third quarter, against 178.8 in the second quarter. As on December 31, 2016, Idea has a net MNP gain of 20.7 million customers from other telecom operators with one out of every four existing mobile customers, who chooses to port out from their existing mobile operator preferring to shift and stay with world class Idea services.
The telco’s total data volume (2G+3G+4G) has gone up marginally at 108,843 million MB in the third quarter from 107,439 million MB in the second quarter.
Idea said that it has 75.7 million 3G on its network, including 20.4 million 4G devices. It added that 3G/4G device penetration was 40.9% in the third quarter.
Its 3G subscribers (Voice+Data ) went down to 32.6 million in the Q3 from 34.8 million in the previous quarter.
Blended ARPU went down to Rs 157 in Q3 from Rs 173 in the Q2, while voice ARPU declined to Rs 114 in Q3 from Rs 122 in Q2.
The Aditya Birla Group-led telco’s total minutes of use reached 209,828 million minutes in the third quarter, up from 195,504 million minutes in the previous quarter.
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In the quarter, Idea’s total NLD minutes reached 16,434 million minutes from 16,418 million minutes in the previous quarter. Total ILD minutes went down to 2,542 million minutes in the third quarter against 2,628 million minutes in the previous quarter.
Idea’s ISP capacity increased to 246.0 Gbps in the third quarter against 235.0 Gbps in the previous quarter. Its Optical Fibre Cable (OFC) network also increased to 133,800 kms in the third quarter, from 126,000 kms in the second quarter.