The telecom sector’s monthly prepaid average revenue per user (ARPU) showed a significant improvement in the September quarter. From Rs 99 in the quarter ending June 2021, the ARPU figure for the prepaid services increased to Rs 102.16, as per a report from the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI). However, at the same time, postpaid ARPU fell from Rs 215 in the quarter ending June 2021 to Rs 212.28 in the quarter ending September 2021.
Overall Wireless Services ARPU Increased by 3.34% QoQ in September End
The overall monthly ARPU for wireless services grew by 3.34% during the September quarter to Rs 108.16 from Rs 104.66 in the June quarter. Further, on a YoY basis, the monthly wireless services ARPU jumped about 11.65% during the September quarter.
The gross revenue (GR) and the adjusted gross revenue (AGR) increased for the quarter from the telecom service sector was Rs 67,300 crore and Rs 53,510 crore, respectively. The QoQ GR and AGR increased by 3.86% and 4.24%.
This is a good sign for the telecom industry. Even without any major prepaid tariff hike during the September quarter, the ARPU for wireless services grew. The decline in postpaid ARPU will worry the telcos, but the telecom operators will be very happy with the kind of prepaid ARPU growth they saw in September.
However, not to forget that during the same quarter, both Airtel and Vodafone Idea (Vi) had removed their base prepaid plans of Rs 49, after which the next alternative left for the consumers was Rs 79 plan. But this would have only partly affected the ARPU as the changes were made late in the quarter.
With the rise in AGR, the license fee (LF) also grew QoQ from Rs 4,103 crore at the end of the June quarter to Rs 4,271 crore at the end of September 2021. This implies a LF increase of 4.08% QoQ and 16.80% YoY. The December quarter revenues should be even better, and ARPU should be higher.