Vodafone Idea Subscriber Base Falls to 320 Million, ARPU Now Stands at Rs 108

Vodafone Idea Limited has come up with its quarterly financial report for the first quarter of the FY20. The telecom operator has not only given an update on its financials with this report but has also updated the public with the progress of the network integration and how far it has gone in the country. Vodafone Idea revealed that in the first quarter, the revenue declined by 4.3% QoQ primarily due to the churn of customers who recharged with ‘service validity vouchers’ in Q4 as well as ARPU down-trading. The telecom operator also ensured of synergy realization on track with almost 70% of the synergy target achieved by Q1FY20.

Vodafone Idea Revenue at Rs 112.7 Billion

Vodafone Idea in its FY20 Q1 report highlighted that down trading of high ARPU customers led to revenue of Rs. 112.7 billion, a QoQ decline of 4.3% compared to Rs. 117.8 billion in Q4FY19. EBITDA for the quarter increased to Rs. 36.5 billion versus Rs. 17.9 billion in Q4FY19 (Rs. 15.9 billion adjusted for one-offs), as the adoption of Ind AS 116 positively benefited EBITDA. Capex spend in Q1FY20 was Rs. 28.4 billion. Gross debt as at June 30, 2019, was Rs. 1,204.4 billion, including deferred spectrum payment obligations due to the Government of Rs. 891.8 billion but excluding lease liabilities. Cash & cash equivalents were Rs. 211.8 billion resulting in net debt of Rs. 992.6 billion (vs Rs. 1,183.9 billion in Q4FY19).

Vodafone Idea Still Losing Subscribers

Vodafone Idea subscriber base declined to 320.0 million from 334.1 million in Q4FY19 primarily due to customer churn following the introduction of ‘service validity vouchers’ in the prior quarters although the number of high ARPU customers remained majorly stable. The churn of the subscribers reduced to 3.7% during Q1, compared to 7.2% in Q4, and ARPU now stands at Rs. 108, up 3.8% QoQ vs Rs. 104 in Q4FY19. In this period, the telco added ~6,500 FDD sites to increase our 4G coverage and deployed ~15,000 TDD sites and ~4,400 Massive MIMO sites in select key locations to increase our data capacity during the quarter. During the quarter, Vodafone Idea added 4.1 million 4G customers, taking the overall 4G subscriber base to 84.8 million. The broadband subscriber base for the quarter stands at 110.5 million.

Vodafone Idea Completes 66% Network Consolidation

Balesh Sharma, CEO Vodafone Idea Limited said “We are delivering on our stated strategy although the benefits are not yet visible in our top line. As we continue to integrate our networks, our customers’ data experience is significantly improving in most services areas, and we now lead the league tables on data download speeds in Delhi, West Bengal and Chennai.”

The telecom market leader has also remarked in its report that the network consolidation exercise is going on at a fast pace, and 66% of districts have been consolidated under this. As part of this 4G network upgradation project, Vodafone Idea has rolled out TDD sites in addition to the deployment of Massive MIMO in key areas to enhance capacity. The telecom operator also highlighted that it emerged as the fastest 4G network in Delhi, West Bengal and Chennai according to Ookla and it also witnessed improvements in 4G speeds by more than 50% in consolidated circles compared to December 2018. The telco also noted about the start of LTE900 services in Delhi, Mumbai, Gujarat, Kerala, Haryana, through dynamic spectrum refarming. Lastly, Vodafone Idea also remarked about successfully closing India’s largest rights issue, raising Rs 250 billion.

Chakri Kudikala

Chakri is a go-to guy for your next smartphone recommendation. Back in his engineering days, he used to play with smartphones by installing custom ROMs and that passion got him into the tech industry. He still goes nuts about a smartphone knocking his door for review. Currently managing everything at Telecom Talk, Chakri is trying to master PUBG Mobile in his free time.

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Chakri Kudikala